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Apple already provides parental controls for the iPhone/iPod touch. Parents can choose to block apps that are rated 4+, 9+, 12+, or 17+

The Playboy and Sports Illustrated apps were spared the ban-hammer
“We obviously care about developers, but in the end have to put the needs of the kids and parents first" -- Phil Schiller

Yesterday, DailyTech reported that Apple had taken the drastic step to remove over 4,000 adult-themed apps (although some say the number is as high as 5,000) from the App Store. Apple released a short statement explaining the removals, noting, "If we find these apps contain inappropriate material, we remove them and request the developer make any necessary changes in order to be distributed by Apple."

Now, however, Apple marketing guru Phil Schiller has shed a little more light on the removals and has given the reason for why as much as 3% of the 140,000+ apps in the App Store were jettisoned. “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 told the New York Times. The latter point is an interesting one considering that Apple provides parental controls to prevent such content from being seen by children – perhaps the parents just aren't bothering to enable the feature.

Fred Clarke, one of the men behind banned app Sexy Scratch Off, said that he was shocked by Apple's sudden change of direction with regards to adult apps. “We’re showing stuff that’s racier than the Disney Channel, but not by much," said Clarke. “This goes farther than sexy content. For developers, how do you know you aren’t going to invest thousands into a business only to find out one day you’ve been cut off?”

Surprisingly enough, a Playboy app and the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2010 app are still available from the App Store. In fact, the latter is listed under the App Store's "What's Hot" section -- hot indeed.

With regards to those two high profile apps that were spared, Schiller simply said, "The difference is this is a well-known company with previously published material available broadly in a well-accepted format."

In other words, if your bikini models are provided by a little-known developer, you're toast. However, if your bikini models are backed by Sports Illustrated or Playboy, you're home free.

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As much as I hate to support Apple...
By troysavary on 2/23/2010 9:28:45 AM , Rating: 2
this time I have to side with them. Their store, their rules. Don't like it, shop elsewhere. Apple has to weigh in whether pissed off moms or pissed of geeks looking for porn will lose them more sales. Since the latter is not Apples target market, they made the financially prudent decision.

Personally, I find the idea of buying an app to check out chicks in bikinis just shows how utterly stupid you are considering how easy it is to find that for free anyway. Actually, I find buying the majority of the apps stupid as just making sure you buy a platform that supports Flash means that almost all the functionality of apps is free somewhere.

RE: As much as I hate to support Apple...
By rika13 on 2/23/2010 10:39:56 AM , Rating: 3
The problem is, you can't "shop elsewhere".

The App store is a tying agreement and is a flagrant violation of anti-trust law, akin to GM requiring you to purchase gas only from them and putting a patented chemical in that the car looks for to ensure you can't use any other gas.

The boycott of apps would constitute both economic damage and violate the rule of reason as there is no legitimate reason to block such apps (they are not illegal, and the block is entirely political not technical or legal)

By Akrovah on 2/23/2010 4:31:59 PM , Rating: 2
You can simply not buy the iPhony, then you are not locked into thier app store. Problem solved.

Seriously, I'm no fan of Apple, but this is thier product to do with what they will. Deal with it.

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007
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