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

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
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. It?s 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."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 124
    kiweekiwee Posts: 102member
    If you remove 5000 apps. Mistakes are bound to happen.

    If a mistake was made, I'm sure it will be corrected..
  • Reply 2 of 124
    igeniusigenius Posts: 1,240member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


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




    According to some posters in this forum, that sort of content abets child rape.
  • Reply 3 of 124
    Switch your business to something else. Not that big of a deal.
  • Reply 4 of 124
    mknoppmknopp Posts: 257member
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 124
    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?
  • Reply 6 of 124
    igeniusigenius Posts: 1,240member
    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!
  • Reply 7 of 124
    lilgto64lilgto64 Posts: 1,147member
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 124
    tulkastulkas Posts: 3,754member
    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?
  • Reply 9 of 124
    jetlawjetlaw Posts: 156member
    Maybe this is Apple's way of preventing a conflict with its forthcoming "iMasturbate" app.
  • Reply 10 of 124
    Do not defy Chairman Mao!
  • Reply 11 of 124
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 124
    kotatsukotatsu Posts: 1,010member
    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)
  • Reply 13 of 124
    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
  • Reply 14 of 124
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 124
    tulkastulkas Posts: 3,754member
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 124
    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.



    iPadLot.com



    Buy-iPad-Accessory-Store.com
  • Reply 17 of 124
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ivan.rnn01 View Post


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



    That's hilarious!
  • Reply 18 of 124
    takeotakeo Posts: 418member
    I think the Sears catalog should be banned. I know it was one of my favourite publications as a 12 year old boy. LOL
  • Reply 19 of 124
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 124
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Sofabutt View Post


    That's hilarious!



    Thank you.
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