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Apple comments on Boobiegate, won't pull corporate sexy apps from store

Apple's been catching a lot of flack for their new policy banning iPhone apps featuring semi-nude ladies (and the occasional dude) from the app store. When around 5,000 such apps were pulled, developers got in touch with Apple, who confirmed that there's a new "no skin" policy. A couple of days later, we finally have Apple's first public statement regarding Boobiegate, from VP-of-sometimes-filling-in-for-Steve-Jobs-at-presentations Phil Schiller.

Schiller has gone to bat for wrongly-rejected iPhone apps in the past, but this time, he's saying there's not much he can do. Due to overwhelming complaints from women and parents, Apple decided that they couldn't afford to offend any more customers with "degrading" bikini apps.

Not one to throw the baby out with the bathwater-soaked bikini, Schiller said that controversial apps by various well-known brands with other means of distribution -- think Playboy and Sports Illustrated -- will remain in the store. "The difference is this is a well-known company with previously published material available broadly in a well-accepted format," Schiller said. It probably doesn't hurt that the SI and Playboy apps both sell enough to make the store's "What's Hot" list.

Before we all cry censorship, remember that Apple's not the federal government. It can run its store however it sees fit. On the other hand, it seems ridiculous to lay down a blanket policy against a category of application that has been proven to offend customers, but then add a winking "... unless you're a major publisher, that is!" Is it really smart to address offended customers with a solution that's still basically offensive, and angers your developer base, too?

The graph above comes from AppShopper.com, and shows exactly how enormous the number of deleted apps has been during Boobiegate. Some people are estimating that the store lost 3% of its total apps.

Tags: app store, apple, apps, AppStore, banned, bikini, boobiegate, iphone, phil schiller, PhilSchiller, removed, sexy

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