iPhone Porn App Not Pulled By Apple, Just "Sold Out," Says Developer

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picture-314The drama in iPhone porn world continues. Yesterday, Hottest Girls, the first app with nudity was accepted into the App Store. But early this morning it was made unavailable, and everyone presumed Apple was behind it. But apparently, the app has not been pulled from the App Store by Apple, but rather by the developers because of high demand.

The guy team behind the app, Allen the Geek, writes on its site:

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. -ATG dev team

So is this BS? Is this just them covering up for Apple pulling it? I don’t think so.

While everyone is assuming that Apple pulled the app from the App Store, when it has done that in the past, you often see the entire page disappear. That’s not the case this time, as the page remains intact on the App Store several hours after the app has been made unavailable. And you can actually click to buy, enter you password and get the pop-up warning you that this app is rated 17+. But when it is about to download, a pop-up comes up saying, “The item you tried to buy is no longer available. The availability of the item changed while you were using the store. The same item may be available with a different price or elsewhere on the store.”

Allen the Geek’s wording is odd because apps can’t actually “sell out,” but it makes sense that if high demand for the pictures is crashing their servers, they might pull it.

But perhaps more importantly, there are other apps still live that claim to have nudity. Here’s one — it even has “Topless” in the title. I just bought it, with no problem. (Though, to be clear, the app apparently doesn’t have its topless pictures ready yet just yet.)

And other developers are reporting that there is a “nudity” check box when you submit an app for approval, so it doesn’t make sense for Apple to have that if it’s going to reject these apps.

This matters because now that Apple has parental controls for apps built into the iPhone, it would seem that Apple has nullified the reason it needed to reject apps containing things like images of topless women. And removing that restriction would presumably free up app screeners to do their jobs better, something which has been an issue for several months. And so while it may appear that this is Apple being prudes again, I don’t that is actually the case.

I’ve contacted the developer about this removal, and will update when I hear back.

Update: Okay, this gets weirder and weirder. Now a spokesperson for Apple tells CNN that it did remove the app. It is now gone from the store. Here’s the statement:

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.

So, apparently, Apple has a rating system that includes nudity, but it doesn’t plan to allow nudity in any app? And it’s letting apps in that both have nudity and claim to have nudity. I’m not sure Apple knows what is even going on at this point.

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[thanks Corey]

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