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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags iPhoneiphone apps

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

Cool Tech

Bang and Olufsen Beosound Stage - Dolby Atmos Soundbar

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

ASUS ROG, ACRONYM partner for Special Edition Zephyrus G14

Learn more >

Nakamichi Delta 100 3-Way Hi Fi Speaker System

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit for Nintendo Switch

Learn more >

Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean 9000 Toothbrush

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Teac 7 inch Swivel Screen Portable DVD Player

Learn more >

SunnyBunny Snowflakes 20 LED Solar Powered Fairy String

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?