February 22, 2010 | Andy Boxall
Apple’s recent decision to remove all apps from the App Store which they deemed to contain ‘overtly sexual content’ seems to have been made with the best intentions, but it appears to have been implemented in a rather blanket fashion, certainly from Simply Beach’s point of view.
Simply Beach is a family-run UK beachwear retailer, who have had their own iPhone App available inside the App Store for several months. Until that is, they received an email from Apple telling them it had been removed from the store under these new rules. Simply Beach say their app contained tasteful pictures of bikinis, swimwear and kaftans.
According to the company, Apple have not responded to their emails requesting details as to why the app was removed and received no other communication prior to the removal email.
It’s strange then, that someone selling bikinis has fallen foul of Apple’s puritanical cull, but Puma’s ‘The Puma Index‘ app is still ready for download with no age-restriction. To the people who welcome Apple’s ruling, the Puma app must surely also appear exploitative, as the model’s state of undress depends on how the financial market is performing. Relevant? I think not. Yet there it is, ready for 10-year old Jimmy to download and giggle about with his mates.
Did Apple do as Simply Beach suggest and search for various keywords including ‘bikini’ and then just hit delete, therefore seeing Puma’s ‘BODYwear’ escape unharmed? Or is it because Puma amusingly file their app only under Finance? It almost doesn’t matter, as poor treatment of small retailers who embrace the iPhone and its App Store negates any vague benefit derived from banning the softcore nonsense it feels is unacceptable.
Done correctly, this could have been an Apple win, but done badly, as with all forms of halfhearted censorship, it annoys as many people as it pleases.
*UPDATE* As of the 23rd February, Simply Beach has been reinstated inside the App Store.