Apple explains sexy app double standard

The ban on "overtly sexual" iPhone apps applies only to indie developers -- not established corporations.

Apple's ban on sexy apps -- more than 5000 apps were removed from the app store over the weekend because they contained "overtly sexual content" -- has been making headlines, mostly because of the selectivity of the removal.

While Apple removed such risqué apps as Strip Simon and Video Strip Poker, apps from big-name companies such as Sports Illustrated and Playboy remain in the App Store -- the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit App is even featured on the front page.

Apple attempted to explain its app double-standard in an interview with the New York Times. Apple's head of worldwide product marketing, Phillip Schiller, told the Times on Monday that the source and intent of apps were taken into consideration when the ban was applied. Well-established companies with "previously published material available broadly in a well-accepted format" (e.g. magazines like Playboy, FHM, and Sports Illustrated) are not held to the same rigorous constraints as unknown apps like Tight Body Perky Boobs and SlideHer Nautica.

It would appear that Apple's restriction on sexy (and subsequent lenience on well-established companies) extends to shopping apps -- the Simply Beach App, which is a bikini-shopping app that features pictures of women in bikinis (or modeling "products"), was taken down on Friday as part of the ban. The Simply Beach App was reinstated, without any official communication from Apple, today. Meanwhile the Victoria's Secret All Access App remained in the App Store all weekend, untouched.

Apple maintains that it's really doing all of this for the kids -- trying to keep the App Store a family-friendly place that won't scare off potential customers.

If Apple's doing this for the kids, it's failing -- the App Store isn't 100 percent "family friendly" as long as publications like Playboy remain in the mix (still waiting for the argument on how a soft-core porn mag is not "overtly sexual"), and all the new policy really does is give the shaft to independent developers.

Developers already have a hard time getting their apps approved for the App Store with Apple's rigorous rules and regulations, and now they have to put up with corporate schmoozing and puritanical sex bans as well? It might be time to look into developing Android apps . . .

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags iPhoneiphone apps

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Sarah Jacobsson

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?