Last Friday we reported that Apple dropped another bomb in their war on smut apps. Numerous developers received email notices from Apple announcing a revision in guidelines and the removal of any “overtly sexual” content from the App Store. At that time, it was our notion that this round of banishments would be considered the most significant day in Apple’s war on smut.
And indeed our inkling came true. Within 72 hours, over 5,000 “overtly sexual” apps were pulled from the App Store, representing about 3% of the total number of apps in the Store.
Not only was Apple removing smut apps, but also wiping out entire publishing companies. One such company is On The Go Girls … as of Monday, all 50 of their applications were no longer available for sale, thus putting an end to their sole source of income.
Until today, Apple has been silent about this latest round of take downs. The New York Times reports that Philip W. Schiller, head of worldwide product marketing at Apple, said they were responding to complaints from App Store users.
“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,” Schiller said.
Schiller continued saying Apple had to prioritize its customers. “We obviously care about developers, but in the end have to put the needs of the kids and parents first,” he said.
Our question has always been … if Apple is removing “overtly sexual” apps, why do apps from Playboy, Sports Illustrated (Swimsuit), Maxim, FHM, Victoria Secret or Cosmopolitan (Sex Positions) still remain? Although it appears Schiller was not questioned about most of the apps we mentioned, he did speak specifically about the Sports Illustrated application.
“The difference is this is a well-known company with previously published material available broadly in a well-accepted format,” Schiller said.
So let’s get this straight … although Apple cares about developers, priority was given to the needs of kids and parents. HOWEVER … “overtly sexual” content from well-known companies (Playboy, SI, Maxim, etc.) take priority over kids and parents. Or another way of looking at Apple’s logic … if the boobs are well-known (Playboy, SI, Maxim, etc.) and available broadly in a well-accepted format, then it’s ok for kids and parents.
Sound logic? Debatable (not) … but one thing is clear, Playboy certainly benefits from Apple’s logic. Prior to the removal of 5,000+ smut applications, the Playboy app was in the #111 position for Top Overall Paid Apps. Four days later, Playboy sits comfortably in the #32 position … $$ KaChing $$
LOL @ Apple! While we realize it’s Apple’s business and they can do whatever the hell they want … let’s call a spade a spade. Apple is cleaning up the App Store ahead of the iPad’s launch, which they are hoping to promote as a device for families and schools. Large, well-known companies with titillating content like Playboy, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit, Maxim, etc. remain because they should provide significant revenue for Apple through magazine subscriptions via the iPad.
Sorry for being blunt … we would suck at being a public relations spin doctor.