back to article Apple strips top shelf, leaves corporate smut in place

Apple has had a busy night pulling minor publishers' naughty applications from the iTunes store, leaving porn as the preserve of big business only. It's been six months since Apple started letting scantily-clad women into the iTunes store, and apparently females around the world are up in arms against girls performing …


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  1. Dazed and Confused

    Do Apple care?

    My youngest had set his heart of having an iPod Touch for his birthday (dream on) so I spent some time investigating it. Not only won't it work with nearly every website he likes (no flash) but it doesn't have any kiddie filtering software. I asked in shops and friends who have them and they didn't know of any.

    There is little point in worrying about what is in Apple's store if you can just go to 99% of the internet and gawp at what ever pr0n cranks your particular handle.

    1. guybles

      Research isn't what it used to be...

      "but it doesn't have any kiddie filtering software"

      Oh, apart from the passcode-protected "Restrictions"?

      "I spent some time investigating it"

      Yeah, that took 0.12 seconds to find on Google.

      That said, never underestimate the resourcefulness of kids on a quest for pr0n. There isn't a system in the world that will stop a determined teenager...

  2. Seanmon


    built-in censorship is the main reason I won't buy Apple gadgets. Well, that and the risk of being thought a fashion victim techno-wannabe.

    1. Frank Bough

      I've got news for you

      ...if you're reasonably off, technichally able and you're NOT using an iPhone or a Blackberry, you're seen as a nerd, freak, Apple refusnik and/or friendless loser. The only demographic who MIGHT identify you as a fashion victim are unwashed comic con attendees, liunxtards and role play gamers.

      1. KenBW2

        Image is everything

        for you at least.

        "if you're reasonably off, technichally able and you're NOT using an iPhone or a Blackberry, you're seen as a nerd, freak, Apple refusnik and/or friendless loser."

        "The only demographic who MIGHT identify you as a fashion victim"

        So, erm. If you don't have one you should get one, in order to fit with fashion? That makes you quite the fashion victim. Fail to you

        1. Seanmon
          Thumb Up


          ...Apple refusnik, I think. Pretty sure that's what I said anyway.

      2. cosmogoblin
        Jobs Horns

        That'd be me then

        I read comics, run Linux and play RPGs, and even my like-minded "friends" think I'm a freak for not buying an iThismonth'sfad.

        I don't like Blackberries either, so I don't fit in at work. I'm the definition of loser.

        I'll take the evil Jobs, although I also hate Gates. And Stallman. And, for that matter, other humans. And computers.

      3. Anonymous Coward

        Good news for me, then!

        "...if you're reasonably off, technichally able and you're NOT using an iPhone or a Blackberry"

        Thanks! I have a BlackBerry! I can rejoice in not being something weird!

  3. The Indomitable Gall

    Hate to say it, but...

    I actually see Apple's point on this.

    Big names like Playboy do have a bit less of a sleaze factor simply by virtue of being a known brand.

    That's brand politics for you.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      In plain English

      "Big names like Playboy do have a bit less of a sleaze factor simply by virtue of being a known brand."

      i.e. No pan-handles, flap-shots, or hamburgers.

    2. JohnG

      Hate to say it, but...

      Not big brands but expensive lawyers.

      "The difference is this is a well-known company with previously published material available broadly in a well-accepted format."


      "We are frightened at the prospect of lawsuits from big corporates as they can afford expensive lawyers (and possibly a few politicians) to fight for them. Conversely, we are not all at frightened by the small fry, our lawyers will simply use the "think of the children" gambit."

    3. Seanmon


      And what was the first site I visited when I got my first (non corpy) internet connection back in '97 or so?

      What's the most famous pr0n brand in the world and one that every teenager knows?

      Begins with a "P"...

      1. Pirate Dave Silver badge

        there's ...

        no "P" in "Hustler"...

        1. TeeCee Gold badge

          @Pirate Dave

          Really? Has it gone up market?


      Steve does Nashville

      Big names like Playboy? Are you kidding? They are no less despised by the sorts of people Apple is trying to pander too right now than Penthouse or Hustler. They are only slightly more respectable to less uptight coastal urbanites. In the heartland, the distinctions they are trying to make here are completely bogus.

  4. twunt

    Knocking one out....

    They never should have allowed this kind of crap into the store anyway - if I want to knock one out I'll just point my iphone browser towards, balance it on the toilet cistern and enjoy....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up



    2. Tim

      You really *will* go blind if you do that.

      Tiny screen.

    3. LinkOfHyrule
      Paris Hilton

      I wish you hadn't of said that!

      I wish you hadn't of said that! Not because of the image in my mind of some chap knocking one out sitting back to front on the lav...

      But because now you said it, some hip product designer for Armatage Shanks is now going to design an iPhone compatible toilet cistern with a sleek profile and a handy iPhone docking station and lube dispenser!

    4. Anonymous Coward

      No you won't

      Spankwire uses Flash for all its videos.

      Erm, so I'm reliably informed.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Yes you will!

        I've been reliably informed that you haven't been reliably informed. :-)

        I've also been reliably informed that if you go to spankwire on a mobile, it gives you nice MP4's to stream.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Thanks for the heads up ..

      Fnar, fnar!

  5. Balefire
    Thumb Down

    Wow. Just wow

    Why do people still bother developing for this platform if that level of contempt and blatant double standards is constantly being shown by Apple? Just because the iPhone is currently the biggest Smartphone platform doesn't mean you should write for it.

    If the developers leave, how long will it remain the biggest if there are no new applications?

    1. Euchrid

      re: Wow. Just wow

      Money perhaps? Some people do all sorts of things for money, which wiser heads would avoid.

      Having your software on the App Store can net big money - the guys that wrote Ocarina ( had hoped to make $100,000 by the end of the year it released, but it netted about $400,000 in the first month alone - that app costs 99 cents. Just before that, the developer for Trism (a $4.99 puzzle game) got $250,000 revenue in two months (i.e. nearly 1,200 copies per day).

      Developers will leave the platform because of Apple’s policy, no doubt about it – in fact last year there were more than a few articles about some quite respected developers doing just that very publicly. But the simple fact is, if money can be made, other people will develop for a platform/Apple doesn't care.

      On the other side of the coin, this new Apple policy has removed some App Stores clutter. This developer - – alone had on the App Store almost 500 versions of the essentially the same photobook app… and I’m sure not all developers will be saddened by such news.

    2. Solomon Grundy

      Market Share

      The iPhone is nowhere near the largest smart phone platform. Nokia is the largest followed by RIM (BlackBerry) with the iPhone in 3rd place.

      1. Euchrid

        re: Market Share

        I think you mean Symbian OS, rather than Nokia - but yes, that has the major share of the smart phone market (although this did decline last year). RIM, Apple and Android were the fastest growing platforms in 2009.

        Nokia's share of the smart phone handset market also fell last year (as did four of the other big players).

  6. Mark Broadhurst
    Jobs Horns


    The hypocrisy is expanding to support the expanding hypocrisy

    1. Seanmon

      and the first

      rule of Tautology club is....

      1. Anonymous Coward


        I would expect the first rule of Tautology club is the first rule of Tautology Club, according to my expectations.

        1. TeeCee Gold badge

          Re: Hmm

          You're thinking of Recursion Club.

          The first rule of Tautology Club is that there are no rules.....

  7. James Thomas


    Tbh it was pretty silly of the app developers to not expect Apple to have a change of heart, it was only a matter of time really. This is what happens when you live at the behest of a single company.

    What is utterly reprehensible is Apple only doing this to people too small to fight back. They know full-well that what they are doing could land them in court if they targetted someone with enough money to see it through.

  8. Ed Blackshaw Silver badge


    You might want to mark this one as NSFW?

  9. LinkOfHyrule

    For a cult...

    For a cult, Apple seem remarkably kink-unfriendly! I thought all cults apart from the religious ones were uber jug fests! Oh hang on... Apple is a religion!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Jobs Horns

      Re: For a cult...

      Steve Jobs is a cult.

      (oh dear, my keyboard seems to be malfulctiolilg...)

    2. Poor Coco


      ...I think you were confusing Apple with Raelianism.

      I think that Rael guy might have been on to something. At least it's more fun than Appliantology!

  10. Annakan

    And it is too dangerous to challenge the "well known"

    Because they might retaliate, cry censorship, free speech and such and go to court were Apple practices could be condemned and the whole control of Apple over the Istore would vanish .

    Not something Mr Jobs want to even consider.

    So that way it is so much better : less smaller publisher that can't prosecute means MORE business for the well know that will not want to prosecute ...

    And again the f...king children argument, do your kids NEED and IPhone ?

    Do you want to live in the Moomin Valley forever ? I don't and as a kid, when I decided I wanted to know about sex, believe me I was as motivated to get my way as I was un-interested a few months before ... And I am sure I am not the only one .... ;)

  11. nrmetson

    Will mine be taken down?

    Wonder if my app will be taken down? It was rejected initially for use of the word "thrusts"!

    Called the Bedometer, it measures how many calories are burned during a love making session.


    I'll keep the Register updated if it gets taken down!

  12. Cthonus
    Paris Hilton

    Apple's schizoid puritanism

    I have less objection to wobbling bits in the App Store than I have to Apple's pop-up warning that I'm attempting to download age-restricted material every time I go near a certain map app or a dictionary prog.

    Paris, because anyone can find a Twatt in a map of Orkney.

  13. Si 1
    Jobs Horns


    That's a really unfair thing to do, more so because they're clearly picking on the devs who don't have the money to sue. It's one thing to say up front that you don't allow Flash or emulators or interpreted code and then stick to that. It's another to allow these apps and then arbitrarily remove them later.

    Why not just ban any future apps but leave the existing ones on there, rather than taking everything away? Apple could have at least given them some notice. This is the problem with Apple's closed platform approach, and the iPad is edging that method of delivery closer to the mainstream and the desktop. I have to confess I never really saw a problem with the walled garden on the iPhone, but as soon as the idea of it moving to other platforms comes up I realise that this is not the future I want to see in computing.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re: Unfair

    And when was life fair? Or corporations for that matter?

  15. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    Choose a responsible service provider?

    Can you connect iPod Touch or iPhone to a service that provides a censored Internet connection? Or just trust the young person. I think it's an offence in the UK to give erotic material to a minor but I don't know if that means you must block their Internet use in case they look up naughty things themselves.

    I must say too that stopping myself from thinking about those girls with windows in their lingerie isn't going to be easy.

  16. HollyX

    123, ABC

    Want to behave like an idiotic hypocrite? There's an app for that.

    I would like to know, however, who on earth still pays for pron? It doesn't take a lot of effort to find more of it than any one person could use in a lifetime for free.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Isn't it illegal to restrict competition? I am sure the European Commision would like to hear about this practice.

  18. JeffShortland

    uh...Free Apps.

    Guys, do any of you know or even wonder how many of these taken down titles were free apps? I only came across this whole story due to a posting on SG, where their free flip-strip app (like the classic flip pens) was taken down, while their pay to purchase app was left behind, along side a few other pay to purchase ones. Many of the apps that I've heard getting the shaft were free to get (or at least demo), which means anyone with a net connection can just grab them.. I'm certainly not saying that Apple was in the clear with this call, but yah - if you're going to push something like the iPad for schools, you don't need 10 year old jimmy posting Wobble shots of his teacher on FB, and getting her fired, or using the "naked" app to post child porn pseudo images of his classmates and getting the whole school shut down.

    after all, remember what happened when a kid last found Oral Sex in a dictonary. Webster was almost shot by a soccer mom.

    1. Daniel B.


      "you don't need 10 year old jimmy posting Wobble shots of his teacher on FB, and getting her fired, or using the "naked" app to post child porn pseudo images of his classmates and getting the whole school shut down"

      I'm pretty sure that all of this can be done without an iBone, any pen cam will suffice to get the "sample" and would get uploaded by, you know, *normal* PCs.

  19. Brutus
    Paris Hilton

    Symbian saved by sex?

    Obviously that's all the symbian foundation need to do now - provide a safe and lucrative home for all these displaced fap-apps.

  20. Jared Earle


    If you're an established magazine, you're safe. It's that simple.

    Apple want iPads to be accepted in schools and to do that, they need to clean the wobbling boob apps and £0.59 best boob underwear photoset apps out. Sure, keep the established magazines in because parents are familiar with the brands and kids see the covers in the local RS McColls anyway.

    I don't want to come across as an apologist, I like naked women as much as most men, but it makes sense and Apple are not evil for doing this.

  21. Mystic Megabyte
    Paris Hilton

    After in-depth discussions.........

    I would imagine that Apple execs have been discussing Uganda and possibly Bolivia with "salespersons" from the "legitimate" companies.

    Paris? There's plenty more like that around.

  22. Alex Connor
    Thumb Down

    Shut it!

    Man, all this apple bashing is pointless.

    If you really want to get your rocks off to some tart pretending to wash your iPhone's screen, or non-nude pictures of playmates you have more issues than banging on about apple not allowing this anymore.

    Personally, i don't give a crap if it's on the app store or not, to me, iPhones/iPod touches are all about games, there are some quality games out there, for cheap, which is win win for me. Anything else is just a bonus. Basing your entire business model about peddling titilation is just stupid though, if these devs don't have anything else to fall back on, well, that's their own lack of foresight. (although, with the popularity of smut these days, i'm sure they'll find some other way to get money out of it)

    1. steward

      If it's pointless...

      Why was it so important for you to write a comment instead of just surfing on past?

  23. Rick 12
    Jobs Horns


    This sets a dangerous precedent - I could understand banning all porn - but letting playboy etc stay? Whats with the double standards? Can they legally do this??? They are utter bastards.

    And if they are so against porn - are they going to ban all porn from iPhone full stop including the ability to browse for it through Safari?

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    If they are going to ban pron, even very soft pron, then it should all go, playboy too. I actually agree with Apple here, the web is awash with pron. Do you really need another device to view it? I bet there is something rotten behind their decision to keep playboy. Wonder if they have a corporate account for "entertaining" with the bunnies. In Japan, most companies have their favourite Hostess clubs and have accounts with them. Happy memories, of too much drink, terrible Karaoke and cute Japanese girls....mmmm

    btw is not as good as

    Paris? She knows how to host a bar.

  25. Anonymous Coward

    Accepted format

    "The difference is ... material available broadly in a well-accepted format."

    So the iPhone and iPod Touch are not well-accepted formats with broad distribution?

  26. M. Burns Silver badge

    Book banning

    So is Apple banning books as well that might have some sexual content? Obviously, they will have to ban books like "Whinnie the Pooh" because neither Whinnie nor any of his friends wear any pants.

  27. Paul2724


    And this people is why closed platforms are a bad thing. Doesn't matter what the things being removed are on this occasion - the fact that Apple have this power is sufficient to mean I'll never go for their platform(s)...

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    but but but....

    Apple it a fantastic company! Keeping towing that line, fanbois. You've been my personal comic relief since I was in middle school. The funny thing is it hasn't changed a bit since then. Apple is just as evil as any other corporation.

  29. The Mighty Spang


    couldnt care how much, you couldn't get me to write in that bastardised sub-PHP tokenising language of Objective-C for love nor money.

    i ran OS/X for six months to check out Final Cut Pro. In the end I gave up. Final Cut Pro sucks with no decent audio support (yay spin out to separate app and hope that it returns your sequence correctly. F.OFF.) and there was just loads of little usefull apps I could not find an OS/X replacement for.

    I'm not damn surprised. Objective-C sucks the devil's cock. XCode is a PITA. That whole platform from Mac to IPhone needs to die. Man I thought I heard a lot of swearing when I had a collegue porting stuff to Mac before it was ME having to write for Mac.


  30. Malcolm Boura 2

    hypocricy or hypocricy?

    Two types of hypocrisy to choose from:

    1. Double standards over who can publish apps with a bit of skin

    2. Passing off "Some people don't like it" as "Harm to children"

    Either censor according to evidence of harm or cause harm. At present Apple, and indeed many other big corporates, are causing substantial and unnecessary harm because their censorship is driven by poplar prejudice and myth instead of by rational consideration of evidence.

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