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Phil Schiller responds to sex app purge

Late last week, Apple removed some 5,000 apps from the App Store for what it called "objectionable content." The story broke when Jon Atherton of Chillifresh, developer of the app Wobble iBoobs, sent an email to Techcrunch detailing his app's removal. Since then, Jon posted what is allegedly Apple's definition of "objectionable content"* to his site, which includes:
  • No images of women in bikinis
  • No images of men in bikinis
  • No skin
  • No silhouettes that indicate that Wobble can be used for wobbling boobs
  • No sexual connotations or innuendo: boobs, babes, booty, sex – all banned
  • Nothing that can be sexually arousing
  • No apps will be approved that in any way imply sexual content
Of course, that immediately raises the question about the Playboy app and Sports Illustrated (SI) Swimsuit app, which are both in the store as of this writing. Apple's head of worldwide product marketing Phil Schiller addressed this question and others in a New York Times article published today.

"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.

When asked why the SI and Playboy apps are still available, Mr. Schiller replied, "The difference is this is a well-known company with previously published material available broadly in a well-accepted format."

Now that Apple has put its foot down, they've got stick with it. In the meantime, developers who have been making decent money off of consenting adults who enjoy their apps cry foul. At the same time, developers like Wally Chang, founder of Donoma Games, welcome the change. "There just seems to be too many of these really simple applications that do nothing but show pictures of girls in bikinis or in suggestive, adult poses," he said. Some parents would agree.

Some have suggested that Apple could create a "red light district" area of the App Store that's disabled by default, while others suggest that parents simply monitor what their kids are downloading.

*This list has not been confirmed by Apple.

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