Apple has removed more than 5,000 applications with “overtly sexual” content from its online App Store following complaints from customers.
However, the Corporation has also been accused of hypocrisy after it continued to allow sexually provocative Apps from certain companies to remain in its store.
And press reports indicate that Apple may be preparing to launch an Adults Only department in the App Store, but the Corporation has so far refused to comment.
The App store allows users to download a range of computer programmes for Apple’s popular iPhone and iPod touch.
Philip W. Schiller, head of worldwide product marketing at Apple, explained the company’s purge saying: “It came to the point where we were getting customer complaints from women who found the content getting too degrading and objectionable, as well as parents who were upset with what their kids were able to see”.
Industry insiders believe that the crackdown is an attempt to clean up the App Store ahead of the highly anticipated launch of the iPad next month.
Apple are hoping to promote the iPad to schools and families.
But a number of applications from the US publication Sports Illustrated, which feature scantily clad women, are still available to users.
When questioned about the inconsistency Mr Schiller said: “The difference is this is a well-known company with previously published material available broadly in a well-accepted format”.
A removal notice from Apple said: “We have recently received numerous complaints from our customers about this type of content and have changed our guidelines appropriately.
“We have decided to remove any overtly sexual content from the App Store, which includes your application.”
The official Playboy App, which again features scantily clad women, is also still available despite containing what could be considered “overtly sexual” content.
The App store has more than 140,000 applications available for download, and over 3 billion applications have been downloaded since the store was launched in July 2008.
This is not the first time that easy access to sexual imagery has caused alarm among parents.
A report due to be published later this month will demonstrate that children are being sexualised by computer games, easily accessible pornography and sexual slogans at an increasingly early age.
In a seminar previewing the report Dr Linda Papadopolous criticised computer games which regularly include heavily sexualised content.
The clinical psychologist cited the example of Miss Bimbo, a computer game aimed at girls, which is won by accumulating breast enlargements and marrying a billionaire.