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June 25, 2009

Apple rejects soft-core porn iPhone app

Posted: 12:59 PM ET

False alarm: Apple is not - at least not yet - approving iPhone apps containing pictures of naked women.

The blogosphere lit up Thursday with reports that Hottest Girls had the distinguished privilege of being the first application approved for sale in the iTunes App Store that contains nudity. The Hottest Girls iPhone app is not new, but as of Thursday, it added photos of topless women to its gallery of "2200+ sexy bikini babes and lingerie models."

Of course, porn has long been accessible on the iPhone through its Internet browser, but this appeared to mark the first time Apple has sanctioned images of naked women for the popular device.

An image from the 'Hottest Girls' application for sale in the iTunes App Store.

An image from the 'Hottest Girls' application for sale in the iTunes App Store.

Some speculated the "change" in Apple's porn policy was a result of expanded parental controls in the new iPhone 3.0 OS software.  Age restrictions can now be set to prevent mature downloads from the App Store.

According to a Gizmodo article that seemed oddly excited by this news:

This is not just an application that downloads softcore content from the Web, bypassing Apple's censorship. There is no censorship here, as this is truly an Apple approved app "rated 17+" for "frequent/intense sexual content or nudity" and "frequent/intense mature/suggestive theme."

The editors at Wired.com took the Hottest Girls app for a test drive and were underwhelmed. "The application itself is terrible," wrote Wired's tester, "but you can be sure that there will be more, and better, very soon."

Shortly afterwards, the Hottest Girls app, which claims to be the first officially sanctioned iTunes app to contain topless photos, disappeared from the iTunes store.

A website allegedly run by Hottest Girls app developers explained the disappearance:

The Hottest Girls app is temporarily sold out. The server usage is extremely high because of the popularity of this app. Thus, by not distributing the app, we can prevent our servers from crashing. Those who already have the app will still be able to use our app. To answer the question on everyone's mind: Yes, the topless images will still be there when it is sold again.

By Thursday afternoon, Apple's public relations team felt the need to weigh in. From Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr:

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.

Did Apple do the right thing? Is the fuss over this episode just silly? And, given how lucrative the pornography industry is, is it just a matter of time before nudie pics become available through the App Store?

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Filed under: Apple • Internet • iPhone • online video • technology


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nonikwe   June 26th, 2009 8:56 pm ET

I firmly believe in the freedom and right to be my own judge of the material I view – That said I am an adult, chidren should have restricted access and apple provides that on their devices. Further I applaud apple for choosing what apps they approve for the iPhone,
I would be sad if this removal is just a knee-jerk reaction to pressure from a small group,
Censoring, controls & prohibition are very thin edges to a very large and thick wedge giving others rights over your life – history often records them as dangerous.
Lasly the internet is available on the iPhone allowing access to porn and you can use parental controls to prevent this alternatively for those determined souls wanting porn you can jailbreak and go third party – Seems a lot of work to view what 3 billion women and men have naturally and in common COMICAL REALLY!!


John Hope   June 26th, 2009 10:26 pm ET

As always Apple is better. They prefere responsability to easy gain.
Thanks Apple.


Rae   June 27th, 2009 2:55 pm ET

Its one thing for you to do it in your home another in public. I think Apple should pull it. Kids are already over saturated and the phone is for the masses. We need more parents not understanding adults. And if you call that being a prude then I rather be one.


Aaron   June 27th, 2009 3:42 pm ET

Some of you are just dumb. all smartphones have access to porn, why centre apple out, when they are the most restrictive of adult material then any other smartphone on the market.


steve c   June 28th, 2009 3:28 am ET

My ten-year old daughter spends a lot of time looking through the iTunes store for new apps and games. I would not want her stumbling on soft porn during her surfing. If you want porn on your iPod or iPhone, then there are ways and means of loading it, without Apple iTunes store displaying and selling the stuff.

Let's keep the Apple store porn-free and family-friendly.


Steven   August 1st, 2009 3:13 am ET

Rest assured, the only reason all of these religious fanatics are so well versed in the evils of pornography is because the restrictions they place on themselves in public within their community leaves them needing to wank off for hours when they have a moment of privacy, leaving them feeling guilty and ashamed. Since they can't control these 'urges', which the rest of us know to appreciate, explore, and enjoy, they think the solution is to have the porn made inaccessible to themselves (it's not the kids that they are really worried about). Such fanatics would be wise to realize that any such god as they claim to know would much more disapprove of their two-faced hypocrisy than of anyone enjoying sexuality and the human body - in ANY pleasurable position.


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