It took them four days, but Apple is finally explaining its surprise decision to remove nearly all “sexy” content from the App Store. Once again, the morsels of information come from Apple SVP of Worldwide Product Marketing Phil Schiller, who spoke with the New York Times for an article published earlier this evening. None of it is too surprising, but Schiller’s unconvincing explanation as to why some applications like Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit app and Playboy will be allowed to remain on the store is sure to anger plenty of developers.
So why did Apple decide to pull these sexy apps?
“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”
Which makes sense given the broad appeal of the iPhone, but Apple should have seen this coming, and it implemented parental controls for a reason. And then Schiller goes on to pour salt into the wounds of recently spurned developers with his explanation as to why a select few sexy applications will remain on the App Store.
“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 apparently exposed cleavage in a Playboy application is less offensive to women and parents because it’s also being printed in a magazine, or something. The decision really isn’t all that surprising, either — there’s little risk of the Playboy application trying to sneak in some extreme nudity, and with only a handful of mainstream sexy apps there’s much less clutter. Still, such favoritism sets another bad precedent for the App Store, and Schiller’s explanation just feels lame.
Of course, if you’re still looking for ‘sexy’ content on your iPhone, you can still find plenty of nudity in iTunes (Apple has no problem selling R rated movies). Or you could just pop open Safari.