Apple Bans Some Apps for Sex-Tinged Content
By JENNA WORTHAM
Published: February 22, 2010
Apple has started banning many applications for its iPhone that feature sexually suggestive material, including photos of women in bikinis and lingerie, a move that came as an abrupt surprise to developers who had been profiting from such programs.
The company’s decision to remove the applications from its App Store over the last few days indicates that it is not interested in giving up its tight control over the software available there, even as competitors like Google take a more hands-off approach.
When asked about the change, Apple said it was responding to complaints from App Store users.
Philip W. Schiller, head of worldwide product marketing at Apple, said in an interview that over the last few weeks a small number of developers had been submitting “an increasing number of apps containing very objectionable content.”
“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,” Mr. Schiller said.
Among the victims of the purge was a game called SlideHer, a puzzle that challenged users to reassemble a photograph of a scantily clad actress. Another, Sexy Scratch Off, depicted a woman whose dress could be whisked away at the swipe of a finger, revealing her undergarments. Such programs often appeared on the store’s list of most-downloaded apps.
Analysts said Apple appeared to be trying to ensure that the App Store would not scare off potential customers as its products become more mainstream.