Apple has removed thousands of iPhone applications that were considered offensive.
Apple said the purge was due to complaints from customers about the content of various apps and their availability to children, but similar big name-apps such as Playboy and Sports Illustrated are still available.
The apps that were pulled down largely contained photos of women in bikinis and lingerie, and in a New York Times story, Phil Schiller, Apple’s Head of Worldwide Product Marketing, said the company was simply responding to complaints from App Store users.
He said: “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.”
One of the first developers to speak out was Jon Atherton, who developed an app named Wobble iBoobs, and spoke to TechCrunch about Apple’s decision to remove his app from the App Store. In the email, Apple said, “The App Store continues to evolve, and as such, we are constantly refining our guidelines… We have decided to remove any overtly sexual content from the App Store, which includes your application.”
It was discovered that the incident wasn’t isolated and that Apple had removed more than 5000 apps from the App Store based on the new rules, which haven’t actually been defined.
Many people are pointing out the hypocrisy of the ruling by pointing out apps that are still available on the App Store and feature scantily clad women, such as the Sports Illustrated app that shows off photos from its swimsuit edition. Schiller responded to the NYT about the Sports Illustrated app by saying, “The difference is this is a well-known company with previously published material available broadly in a well-accepted format.”
AppleInsider pointed out that the purge also affected apps that weren’t necessarily suggestive, such as an app featuring women in bikinis that was meant to sell swimwear.
Apple has remained relatively silent on the whole affair and hasn’t yet offered any set guidelines for app developers.
Pictured is the Sports Illustrated app that remains in the App Store. Image via iPhonebuzz.com.