Apple Confirms: No Porn on iPhone

Jun 26, 2009 9:45 AM PST
CUPERTINO, Calif. — On the heels of rejecting a nudity-filled app from its App Store, Apple has confirmed that it won’t allow porn on the iPhone, much to the confusion of everyone.

Yesterday, Apple approved an app called Hottest Girls, which delivers about 2,200 images of attractive women, including many topless shots, a first for the App Store.

Hours later, Apple removed the app from the American version of the App Store. The app is reportedly still available in Europe. The app's developer, known as Allen The Geek, said that Apple hadn’t banned the app, claiming that he simply removed the app because all the downloads kept crashing his servers.

But Apple soon released a statement to CNN that simultaneously blamed the developer for dishonestly submitting an adult app and confirmed the company’s policy against accepting porn.

The statement reads, “Apple will not distribute applications that contain inappropriate content, such as pornography. The developer of this application added inappropriate content directly from their server after the application had been approved and distributed, and after the developer had subsequently been asked to remove some offensive content. This was a direct violation of the terms of the iPhone Developer Program. The application is no longer available on the App Store.”

Apple’s reversal is drawing criticism from online pundits, including analyst MG Siegler of leading tech blog TechCrunch.com. Siegler wondered if anyone was "actually in charge" of setting standards for adult content over at Apple.

"I’m starting to think this whole system is run by a group of people, all with different thoughts on the approach Apple should take with apps," Siegler said. "And none of whom seem to communicate with each other very well."

Apple's rejection of the app would also seem to contradict its own policy. The company recently released the newest version of the iPhone operating system, which includes parental controls. The App Store reflects those new features with onscreen warnings about adult apps.

The Hottest Girls app itself included such language, including an onscreen prompt that appeared immediately before download and asked the user for confirmation of age.

"The App Store approval process has basically been a joke for much of the past year," Siegler said. "I was hopeful it would get better now that parental controls are a part of the iPhone 3.0 software. Apparently, I was wrong. It looks like it’s getting worse."

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