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Apple Finally Speaks Out – Sexy Apps From Well-Known Companies Ok


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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.

5000-appsremoved

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 HootersWashiPhoneFINAL 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.

SportsIllustratediPhone  PlayboyiPhone

“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 … $$ KaChing $$

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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.  

Comments

  • MikeR

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    I find the BS coming out of Phil Schiller's mouth to be far more offensive and degrading than any bikini-chick app


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    Exactly – Apple can definitely do whatever they want – its their AppStore and distribution servers. But I feel its pretty clear what the rules are here: PlayBoy + Sports Illustrated have more money for Apple > Parents Kids (consumers) who are important in buying stuff from Apple > smut developers especially nobodies who bring in tiny money through their cut of the unit sale. And obviously its in their interest to spin it all they like, but the people (should) know what makes the world go round.

  • John

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    Aaaah man, you guys just don't get it.

    If you, the developer, bought that air brush at Walmart, you're out.

    But if you, the big developer, bought the air brush from a well known art supply house, with all accessories…you're in.

    See…

    It's that simple.


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    Wait, Playboy App ok? but that bunny looks evil, evil i tell ya.

  • susanbdot

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    I have mixed feelings about this purge. If the intent was to protect kids, why not put the junk in an opt-in (one step beyond parental controls) category — “Garbage”? On the other hand, Apple opened the door to potentially offensive apps long ago. Personally I think the shoot-people-or-animals-to-bloody-bits apps are not wonderful for children (or most anyone with a brain), and there are numerous others I find offensive for one reason or another. I would not want to make value judgements about apps (for business purposes), but I'm not too happy about Apple doing it either. On the other other hand, it's Apple's shop and they can do whatever they want with it, within the law.

    But what baffles me (beyond the above, and beyond the elitism or whatever of leaving Playboy but removing some equally boob- or butt-revealing content) is why something like the 53+ versions of AsianPantyhose & AsianStockings got removed as well? At least from the screenshots, they looked like nothing more than photos of women's legs in hose. Big whoop. Well, I suppose some people have real fetishes about legs in hose, but some people have fetishes about bunnies and other stuff too, but I doubt those have been removed. Is Apple saying that an image of a woman's legs in stockings is too disturbing for children to see? Harumph.

    But what REALLY bugs the KRAPP out of me is that MOST of that series of apps was in Healthcare & Fitness. One had to wade through all 53+ of them (plus numerous other misfits) to find apps that really belonged there. Why desn't Apple deal with that sort of nonsense?


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    Amen! to that.

  • SplinteredMind

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    Why not fence off the smut content? Why purge the store if you’re still going to keep smut? I agree with @susanbdot. Let people have the ability to opt in to seeing mature content. Then if, for instance, my girls see content they find offensive in the iTunes store, it would be because *I* allowed them to. Frankly, I would like to turn the spigot off on most of that crap showing up in my search results anyway.

    It won’t happen, though. It would require time to code and implement a new system. Not practical before the iPad launch. The answer why Apple doesn’t sandbox the smut is because it is easier to purge the powerless punies. More bang for the buck. SI & Playboy have a handful of apps and will dig their heels in. Tiny devs have no legal muscle and have dozens of apps. Now Apple gives the appearance of a major purge without any legal hassles.


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    It has been reported that Apple activated a new EXPLICIT category within the
    App Store, giving the ability for publishers to categrize future smut apps.
    This new category was live in the back-end system of iTunes for a few hours
    this morning, but then shut off. Perhaps a sign of things to come? Although
    Gizmodo reports that an Apple employee said this new category will not be
    available any time soon.


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    I hope there is an Explicit Category. Boogie Butts will have its day I tells ya


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    It has been reported that Apple activated a new EXPLICIT category within the
    App Store, giving the ability for publishers to categrize future smut apps.
    This new category was live in the back-end system of iTunes for a few hours
    this morning, but then shut off. Perhaps a sign of things to come? Although
    Gizmodo reports that an Apple employee said this new category will not be
    available any time soon.


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    I hope there is an Explicit Category. Boogie Butts will have its day I tells ya


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