You may have heard that Apple removed over 4,000 sexy apps from the App Store. Apple SVP of Worldwide Product Marketing Phil Schiller explained in the NY Times the reason behind the ban:

It came to the point where we were getting customer complaints from women who found the content getting too degrading and objectionable, as well as parents who were upset with what their kids were able to see.

I think it’s very hypocritical from Apple to do that, especially because they still allow apps such as Sports Illustrated Swimsuit or Play Boy. Why keep those apps then?

When asked about the Sports Illustrated app, Mr. Schiller said Apple took the source and intent of an app into consideration. “The difference is this is a well-known company with previously published material available broadly in a well-accepted format,” he said.

So I guess parents won’t be as upset at what their kids can see on those 2 apps because they come from well-known companies. I fail to understand the reasoning behind this…

Next step for Apple might be to ban Google or even Safari from the iPhone because a simple search on Google Images brings up the following results.

I could have gone much more graphical with the image but you get my point.

I understand the App Store is Apple’s own playground and that they can do whatever they want there. What’s bugging me though is the dictatorship they have put in place. Not allowing sexy apps in the first place would have been one thing, but removing thousands of sexy apps that were perfectly ok a few days ago is just a Hitler-like move.

Whether you like it or not, it’s just the way it is. Personally, I really don’t care about these sexy apps but I think it is scary how Apple can change the rules at will. But what are we going to do? Meh, we’ll just write a blog post about it, and let it go, because that’s all we can do. Once again, I feel like Apple has stabbed iPhone users and developers in the back.

What do you think?

  • Fábio Oliveira

    I think the conservative lobby in US are a big pain in the ass for big companies.
    If I was in charge I’d say ‘f*ck off’ to those parents who can’t give the proper education to their kids in order to respect objectionable content warnings.

    The only thing I think Apple should ask developers is not to put any objectionable content on app icons.

    The only thing a company like Apple should care is showing those warnings accordingly. Anything else is parents responsibility. But hey, I’m just a liberal European.

  • kirk

    those searches wont come up on my iphone…since google gives you the option to filter that stuff out.

  • Bart

    Here are a few differences between what Apple has removed and your example. I have to seek out the images by doing a Google Search while the App Store has it listed as a Business App. The Google search for scantily clad women is free while Apple is selling Porn listed in the Business category of the App Store.

    If Apple really wants to sell Porn, go for it, just label it as Porn not as a Business App.

    Apple choosing to not sell Porn is called Capitalism not “Changing the rules”. How is it changing the rules by listening to the majority of your customers request to stop selling something that the majority finds objectionable?

    What exactly is Apple doing as they make an app available via the App Store? So far I have seen nothing more than placing code that makes it difficult at best to give an app to a friend. I have not tried to develop an app yet but cant you just develop an app and before Apple gets its hands on it pass it among a group that does want that type of app?

  • Emac

    Dictatorship? It’s their company you idiot. They can do what they want. A company that listens to it’s customers is a bad thing I guess. Moron.

  • Uli

    First of all, sorry for my bad english 🙂 What Apples does is dictator ship!! How can it be that developers and companies spend a lot of money for developing apps that have been approved by Apple a couple of months ago and now they got deleted. Sorry, I don’t understand that.
    The next thing is, that if parents allow their kids to access the iTunesStore and debit the parents credit cards, it’s a total lack of education.
    Furthermore if you don’t want your kids to see skin, especially in Europe, you shouldn’t go on any beach here. In Europe about 30% of all girls are topless. If parents don’t want her kids to see skin, they shouldn’t allow them to go to a European gas station. There are magazins as Playboy, Hustler….. in the selves. – Oh my god :))
    What is that what Americans complain about? About skin? Didn’t you Americans know that the American sex-industry is the largest sex-industry world wide? They make 13 Billion Dollar each year!!! And who buys all that stuff? Sharks, trouts, whales? Why do you Americans lie to yourself? This is crap. Ever heart the word Spring Break? This all shows that the Americans have two faces.

    Advice: If you don’t want to see any skin: Keep away from Europe, South America, Africa, Russia, Asia… And stay where you are

    Regards

    Uli

  • iverge

    It all comes down to $$$ because if SI and Playboy came out against Apple it would be a PR nightmare for them.

  • Bart

    Sorry Uli, but there are only 300 million of us Ugly Americans. The ones that are involved in and participate in the Sex industry are not in the majority. Just because it exists does not mean that those of us that object to it are hypocrites. That’s the drawback to the elements of our Constitution. It’s not that ALL Americans have two faces it is that with only 300 Million of us some of us may have differing moralities and viewpoints toward nakedness than others.

    If Apple was a dictatorship you wouldn’t have the option of getting a Nexus One or even jailbreaking your iPhone. Dictatorship? Give me a break.

    As I mentioned, my issue is not the availability of the Porn it is the labeling of it as a Business, Productivity, Or Utility app. The Developer that spent, as you put it, “lot of money for developing apps that have been approved by Apple …” wasted their money since all they did was create an app that displays a few pictures of scantily clad women. This was only an experiment in seeing how willing people were to waste money on a cheap app that displays a couple pictures so they could get their rocks off. I guess since naked breasts are so prevalent where you are you have no need to spend money on these apps anyway, so what are you complaining about?

  • MR

    I think they are absolutely right to do so…..I only want to look at good quality nakedness.

  • greytone

    I agree with the spirit of this post completely but Hitler analogies weaken your argument. For me at least. It’s hard to read the entire thing when I can’t stop my eyes from rolling and losing my place.

  • Jen

    I don’t understand the ridiculous complaints in the first place. http://bit.ly/dvCHNC What stops kids from just going online?

  • visit and read your blog.. greetings from Indonesia

  • Uli

    @Bart Developers and companies spent a lot of money in the past for developing their apps – Always taking into account the rules of Apple – now Apple changed the rules, like a dictator.

    Just a short calculation 5000 Apps, each cost 2.000 bugs in average… means Apple destroyed the amount of 10,000,000 US$ of developing costs in one week.

    Those apps had been developed, because developers and customers trusted Apple – that trust just vanished into thin air. Don’t you think those developers and customers will switch with their sales channel to the Android Shop now?

    What about real business apps? If a programmer switches to Android, don’t you think he will use his new skills to recommend his customers pay him for developing apps for the Android instead of programming stuff for the iTunesStore, where you can not be sure your app will be deleted one day? Developers program business apps, sexy apps, whatever apps. And they are the unpaied sales persons of Apple because they tell customers how great the itunesStore is (was), and what the advantages are….. and now? The same disappointed programmers and marketing agencies run around, telling everyone that Apple acts like a dictator and if someone wants to have an app he should choose Android instead of Apple.

    I guess Google, Microsoft and Sony are really happy about that stupid behavior of Apple because it was the best advertisement not to develop apps for the iTunesStore anymore and to switch to Android, Windows Mobile or Symbian.

    Furthermore we are all adults and I don’t want to be patronized by a software company. If I buy a device, I want to add on it whatever I want to. Imagine a car manufacturer wouldn’t allow you to drive with the car you bought to a beach, because you could see bikini girls, or a navigation system wouldn’t guide you to “red light districts” – lol.

    Anyway, I honestly wanted to buy an iPad, but I’m convinced that I won’t. And I’m not the only one who is totally disappointed by Apple – my next mobile will be a Nexus One.

    Regards

    Uli

  • Paul

    Hi,

    first of all, nice blog, really!

    About App Store. Could it be that the Apple guys didn’t had enough time to organize the entire policy book?

    The App Store came out with the iPhone, this means about 4/5 years ago? Is it correct?

    The iPhone had a such success and the whole business ran so fast, that they didn’t had very much time to organize a really strong policy tool in order to handle over 1 bilion apps, so, in the meanwhile, they accepted most of them, without a real check and now that they are slowly understanding what’s good and what is not, looks like they are cutting off apps without logical reasons.

    Obviously, this is my point of view.

    Kind regards,

  • Ernesto

    I think apple should not sell those types of apps.
    If u want to watch porn use safari.
    I think theirs a lot of mobile websites that display pornography.
    But idk. That’s my opinion.

  • T-Mizzle

    Sex has no place on my iPhone. Americans are so over-sexed it’s ridiculous. I say YAY! to the ban. I can’t let my kids watch I Love Lucy because of the constant “Extenz” commercials. Why is sex EVERYWHERE? It’s even in children’s shows even though most of it is sublimal, it’s still there. This world is being taken over by perverts with no morals and virgin/geeks who have no other way to see anything sexual except through their gadgets!

  • Fábio Oliveira

    I agree that explicit apps described as business is a great mistake but I don’t think removing them is the answer. Other improvement needed is to filter the AppStore to not show the apps we chose not to be available for download by their rating. Nowadays I can search for Playboy and see results even with restrictions enabled.

    Apple should fix this but let the content alone. Parents are and must always be responsible to choose the content they want their children to see. If you don’t want your kid to see explicit content you should uninstall Safari from their iPhone (oh, you can’t, sorry). The other option is not to give them an iPhone and let everybody else do whatever they want with theirs…