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Swimwear seller hit by Apple's removal of 'sexual' apps

post #1 of 125
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As Apple has officially clarified its new ban on "overtly sexual content" in the App Store, one application featuring pictures of women in bikinis -- to sell beachwear -- was removed.

Designer swimwear retailer Simply Beach, based in the U.K., was removed from the iPhone and iPod touch App Store last Friday. Andrew Long, managing director of Exploding Phone, the firm responsible for developing the application, spoke with AppleInsider about the situation. He said his company received the same e-mail that Apple sent to other developers, which stated "overtly sexual content" was being removed from the download destination due to "numerous complaints" from customers.

The developer has attempted to contact Apple since last Friday to no avail, but Long feels like the Simply Beach application has been wrongfully removed from the App Store, because it does not feature any sexual content. He said the store is showing off its products, some of which happen to be bikinis. The pictures, he said, are the exact same found on the Simply Beach official Web site, simplybeach.com.

"To add insult to injury, the customer actually sells some of their goods through an Amazon feed, which interestingly is still available through the Amazon app," Long told AppleInsider. "I'm sure if you searched in the Amazon app for more questionable items, you'd also find many items which are much worse by the average person's moral compass."

Phil Schiller, head of worldwide product marketing for Apple, spoke with The New York Times about Apple's newfound policy on applications with sexual content. He said the Cupertino, Calif., company wanted to make sure the App Store did not scare off potential customers, as numerous parents had become upset with what their children could access on the iPhone and iPod touch. The forthcoming iPad will also have access to the App Store.

But as Apple purged more than 5,000 apps last week from the App Store, some with more risque content, including the magazine Playboy, have remained. Schiller explained that well-known and established brands, such as Sports Illustrated and its swimsuit edition, were given special consideration.

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

Those comments are likely of little comfort to Simply Beach, which, in addition to bikinis, sells items ranging from hats and bags to mastectomy and maternity bathing suits.

"The e-mail (from Apple) arrived straight to a junk mail folder on Friday and to be honest we thought it was a spam joke," said Gerrard Dennis, managing director of The Simply Group, which operates Simply Beach and six other online stores. "We then checked iTunes to find the app had in fact been removed. It seems like political correctness gone mad. Its just women in bikinis, swimsuits and kaftans."

The Simply Beach application has been resubmitted to the App Store, but now with an age limit restriction. However, the developer and company both say they were never explicitly told by Apple what they should do -- just that their application was being removed for sexual content.

"Being optimistic, maybe a new set of eyes at Apple will realize that the app is a store selling beach clothes and approve it," Long told AppleInsider. "But we'll have to wait and see."
post #2 of 125
If you remove 5000 apps. Mistakes are bound to happen.
If a mistake was made, I'm sure it will be corrected..
post #3 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

It seems like political correctness gone mad. Its just women in bikinis, swimsuits and kaftans."

According to some posters in this forum, that sort of content abets child rape.
post #4 of 125
Switch your business to something else. Not that big of a deal.

We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

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post #5 of 125
I am sure that it was those maternity swimsuits and their immoral promotion of sex. It is Apple's policy to eliminate all sex in the world, thus ending the human race and leaving only the perfection of the iMachines to rule.
post #6 of 125
I don't understand why Apple has decided to become the censorship board here. Isn't the lack of choice going to offend more people than some whining prudes? Also, wasn't some sort of rating system put in place to keep children away from sexual content?
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post #7 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by rogue27 View Post

I don't understand why Apple has decided to become the censorship board here. Isn't the lack of choice going to offend more people than some whining prudes?

If Apple doesn't want to sell an app, that's their choice. There are plenty of other places to buy smutty apps for your iPhone!
post #8 of 125
Have you looked at their website? Their ads are pretty sexy. more so than say a Sears catalog. Still, not "sexual content" in my opinion - certainly no more so than the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue - clearly more so than Playboy magazine (though I have not seen what content from either makes it into an iPhone app).

It is this sort of knee jerk reaction to some small number of very vocal complaints that I don't understand. Whoever it was that didn't want their kid to see a picture of a girl in a bikini for example likely doesn't realize how readily available such imagery is - and it was only a device as conveniently portable as the iPhone or iTouch (yeah, yeah, iPod Touch) that made it apparent to the parent what the kid was up to.

In cases from prohibition - which created the mixed drink industry - to censorship examples which at least in part were responsible for creating the porn industry as it exists today - it is the sort of uninformed, selfish, mis-guided, personal crusade type of government regulation attempting to suppress something that contributes to the profitability and growth of that very same thing.
post #9 of 125
So, Playboy =OK but clothing store=offensive....ok, gotcha.

Why do I get the idea the decision makers in this case would similarly mistake the sears catalog for hard core porn?

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"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
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post #10 of 125
Maybe this is Apple's way of preventing a conflict with its forthcoming "iMasturbate" app.
post #11 of 125
Do not defy Chairman Mao!
post #12 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

So, Playboy =OK but clothing store=offensive....ok, gotcha.

Why do I get the idea the decision makers in this case would similarly mistake the sears catalog for hard core porn?

Man I don't know about you but I find some of those craftsman catalogs to be pure hardcore tool porn.
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post #13 of 125
I think Steve has really lost it. It seems he is not content with starting wars with Goolge and Adobe, he now wants to turn his own platform into a laughing stock for the entire internet.

He needs to be removed. (again)
post #14 of 125
Simply Beach's photography is not overtly sexy, it's just swimwear; Playboy photography is designed to be titillating, as is Sports Illustrated.However, SimplyBeach.com is based around Flash technology, so maybe it has something to do with that?

Mac
post #15 of 125
Dumb move. If apps have ratings and made it into the app store I don't think they should have been removed.

This seems to be generating a lot of negative buzz in the news which sucks for us stock holders.
post #16 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by rogue27 View Post

I don't understand why Apple has decided to become the censorship board here. Isn't the lack of choice going to offend more people than some whining prudes? Also, wasn't some sort of rating system put in place to keep children away from sexual content?

What they are going to find is the results will be the opposite of their intent. They did this so as not to drive away some prudish potential customers. Instead they will drive away the other important groups of customers.

The crowd that helped make the Apple and iPhone 'cool' will be the same crowd that makes the the butt of jokes. Once they turn down that path it is a difficult tide to fight against. Once buying and owning Apple is no longer cool instead become a punch line, they might realize this was an bad decision. Apple is loosing their 'it' factor with decisions like this.

I hope I am wrong and Apple remains successful, but more and more of their policy decisions seem to accomplish little else than invite disdain and derision.

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
Reply

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
Reply
post #17 of 125
Ok, that's going a little too far - going after swimmers now? There aren't THAT many apps in question here, they could have a few people look into the ones that are questionable and ban them on a case by case basis rather than searching by keywords or however they are doing it.

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post #18 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by ivan.rnn01 View Post

Switch your business to something else. Not that big of a deal.

That's hilarious!
post #19 of 125
I think the Sears catalog should be banned. I know it was one of my favourite publications as a 12 year old boy. LOL
post #20 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by iGenius View Post

If Apple doesn't want to sell an app, that's their choice. There are plenty of other places to buy smutty apps for your iPhone!

Name one other source for apps. One that won't get your iPhone bricked by Apple.

Bueller? Bueller?

Whether it's boobs or Bibles, Apple is THE gatekeeper for those apps. Heh the Bible has plenty of references to violence and sex; perhaps Apple should ban those too because they might offend someone.
post #21 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sofabutt View Post

That's hilarious!

Thank you.

We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

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We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

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post #22 of 125
Self-Censorship is always a silly move. First they don't want porn apps and now nothing too "sexy". What is next? Nothing too stupid? There are plenty of those "stupid" apps that will dumb down end-users.

Apple is walking a thin line here and forgetting to let end-users to determine if there is a market for any of those apps. Apple is treating these "content" as if it cheapens the Apple brand. Don't pull a "Tiger Woods" on us Apple!
post #23 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

As Apple has officially clarified its new ban on "overtly sexual content" in the App Store, one application featuring pictures of women in bikinis -- to sell beachwear -- found itself removed."

Note that the Victoria's Secret app is still available.
post #24 of 125
Who wants to take bets that an NBC app for covering the summer Olympics will be rejected because of the swimming events?

All those topless guys and lean women in skin-tight suits... *wolf whistle*
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\Apple has always had competition. It's just been in its blind spot.
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post #25 of 125
The mistake behind all this was in allowing the trashy 6 pics of girls type apps in the app store at all. If they hadn't let the app store become such a joke with so much rubbish in it then they wouldn't have got complaints and we wouldn't be at the stage where swimsuit shops or games with a female fantasy character are being removed.

Hopefully they'll relax over the coming months and we can get to a sensible state where the crappy bikini girl pic type apps are gone but swimsuit shops and mild games and such are ok.

Btw, I don't like the inconsistency or lack of clarity on the rules - and notice that there is still the tubes app in the UK store so they're not even being efficient or consistent.
post #26 of 125
Ah...the slippery slope of mass censorship.

Wonder how the 'glad they banned the boobs' crowd is going to spin this into a positive move.

I imagine they'll try the old 'Apple can do what they want, sellers can just go elsewhere' argument - well worn, but entirely fallacious.

Toshiba doesn't dictate what apps I can use on their laptops, neither does Microsoft ban an entire swathe of applications for fear of offending American sensibilities that fly in the face of their European customers.

Tell me, why shouldn't these apps still be available in the UK or French app store? Why not just ban them from the US?

Or do the 'ban the boobs' crowd on this board genuinely believe that US morals should apply to us as well?
post #27 of 125
Why are people making so much noise about these useless apps being thrown out of the App Store? Agreed, for some people, those apps might have been the only reason to visit the App Store. But, me, as an average user, I was irritated to see these useless apps hog the limelight in the Most Popular section. Sometimes, it seemed to me that the App Store would soon start looking like YouTube (videos with thumbnails of semi-nude women)! I am grateful that Apple banned them! 5,000 less crap apps now in the App Store.
Now, some developers are crying out loud over lost income. I honestly do sympathize with you. I haven't read the fine-print of the App Store rules, but, I am sure somewhere Apple must have stated 'Rules and conditions are subject to change'. They just exercised the option. Simple.
If anyone really misses such apps, get your dose through other sources! I really do not have any sympathy for users who want such useless apps to satisfy their sexual desires!
post #28 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by ivan.rnn01 View Post

Switch your business to something else. Not that big of a deal.

like minnie mouse t shirts?
post #29 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by iGenius View Post

There are plenty of other places to buy smutty apps for your iPhone!

Do tell.
post #30 of 125
So now when the App for Gaylord Foods sends stuff to me, It will be censored because it has the word Gay in it??? Come on....when did I sign up to the Nazi or the Republican party?
post #31 of 125
They shouldn't be complaining, the publicity of this alone will send more customers to SimplyBeach than any app could.. They should in fact be thanking Apple.
post #32 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by atunionbob View Post

So now when the App for Gaylord Foods sends stuff to me, It will be censored because it has the word Gay in it??? Come on....when did I sign up to the Nazi or the Republican party?

You didn't read the that small text portion of the terms and conditions that was written in UV ink?!

It clearly states that by going to the Apple Store and purchasing an iPhone/iPod Touch, that your signature for purchase automatically signs you up!
\Apple has always had competition. It's just been in its blind spot.
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\Apple has always had competition. It's just been in its blind spot.
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post #33 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by gkpm View Post

They shouldn't be complaining, the publicity of this alone will send more customers to SimplyBeach than any app could.. They should in fact be thanking Apple.

Wow...just wow.
post #34 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by TEKSTUD View Post

like minnie mouse t shirts?

Well... I'm thinking about that guy, who used to crush fences, you know... The outfit like that shouldn't earn less, IMO.

We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

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We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

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post #35 of 125
Two quick points:

1) One swimsuit app getting booted isn't necessarily the rule or a trend. There might be three others still there.

2) Apple has a right to protect their business as well as a responsibility to their stockholders. One of the best ways for Apple to ruin their iPhone enterprise is to allow all kinds of objectionable stuff on it. They are smart to not let that happen.
post #36 of 125
Apple can and is playing cop on the apps. But I don't think they will become like China and filter the entire web. As such, Simply Beach and other like them can do just like Google did with Google Voice. Rather than build and application, build a web site made specific to the Iphone. The same result will be accomplished. Then, on their website, they can advertise to add it to your iphone as a web link.

This means Apple is wasting money trying to monitor for lewd kinds of stuff in apps. There are work arounds and they will not be successful but just wasteful of resources.
post #37 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

The crowd that helped make the Apple and iPhone 'cool' will be the same crowd that makes the the butt of jokes. Once they turn down that path it is a difficult tide to fight against. Once buying and owning Apple is no longer cool instead become a punch line, they might realize this was an bad decision. Apple is loosing their 'it' factor with decisions like this.

They are going down the path of AOL, IMO. AOL was once big enough to buy TimeWarner. Now they barely exist.

I have no crystal ball, but I see parallels in that they are pissing off lots of folks with their overly-restrictive policies.
post #38 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

He said his company received the same e-mail that Apple sent to other developers, which stated "overtly sexual content" was being removed from the download destination due to "numerous complaints" from customers.

I wonder if they had put their swimsuits on dogs if they would still have been booted?!
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post #39 of 125
I'm officially offended by the kids in bathing suits in the iMovie demos. Where do I complain and get iMovie removed from iLife?

Phil Schiller is out of his f*cking mind.
post #40 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomredden View Post

Apple can and is playing cop on the apps. But I don't think they will become like China and filter the entire web. As such, Simply Beach and other like them can do just like Google did with Google Voice. Rather than build and application, build a web site made specific to the Iphone. The same result will be accomplished. Then, on their website, they can advertise to add it to your iphone as a web link.

This means Apple is wasting money trying to monitor for lewd kinds of stuff in apps. There are work arounds and they will not be successful but just wasteful of resources.

How on earth is that acceptable by any means? You should have stuck with 0 posts.
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