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Apple Drops The Hammer On Steamy Adult Apps, Again

Apple has pulled thousands of sultry and adult themed applications from its App Store for the iPhone and iPod Touch in response to user complaints.

iPod

In an interview with the New York Times one Apple executive said the apps are being removed due to user complaints.

"We were getting customer complaints from women who found the content getting to degrading and objectionable, as well as parents who were upset with what their kids were able to see," Phillip Schiller, senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, told The Times.

According to Apple, several apps have appeared recently full of suggestive photographs of women in various states of dress. The App Store has seen "an increasing number of apps containing very objectionable content," Schiller said.

A chart on AppShopper.com, a Web site that tracks the number of applications added and removed from Apple's App Store per day, shows that starting on February 18 Apple removed more than 6,000 App Store apps, 4,000 of which were removed in one day. While AppShopper.com doesn't specify which type of applications were purged from the iPhone App Store, the site writes that "the majority of the removals seem to be because of Apple's new policy to eliminate 'overtly sexual' apps."

Though Apple quickly deep-sixed thousands of sultry applications, critics wondered why other applications from major brands like Sports Illustrated and Playboy showing women in bikinis were allowed to stay. Schiller told The Times that those are well-known companies "with previously published material available broadly in a well-accepted format."

Apple is no stranger to removing objectionable and pornographic content from the App Store and for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Last year, Apple removed an application dubbed "Hottest Girls" when it was found that some of the images served by the app featured topless women. Apple said in a statement at the time that the application "was a direct violation of the terms of the iPhone Developer Program."

The "Hottest Girls" removal followed a couple of other high-profile application removals by apple, including the ill-fated "Me So Holy" application hat let users put other faces over an image of Jesus, and the "Babyshaker" game that showed a baby crying that would only quiet down after the user violently shook their iPhone.

Like the thousands of App Store apps purged by Apple in recent days, those applications were relegated to the graveyard for App Store rejects.

Industry analysts have said that Apple's choice to remove and disallow content it deems objectionable is firmly within its rights and is just one of many methods Apple users to protect its name and brand.

"At the end of the day, Apple has a brand to maintain," Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster told The Times. "And the bottom line is they want that image to be squeaky clean.

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