Apple giveth nudity and Apple (in short order) taketh it away...at least in the App Store. According to both Gizmodo & TechCrunch the first iPhone App to feature topless models has been removed from the service. The $1.99 "Hottest Girls" App was developed by Allen Leung and launched on the App Store on Wednesday (despite a May 29 "release date"). According to reviews the App is nothing more than very rudimentary photo gallery. Hottest Girls was given Apple's new 17+ rating (part of OS 3.0 parental controls), and many thought that its approval was an indication that Apple was getting comfortable with adult content...perhaps explaining the real meaning of the S in 3G S. All joking aside, the revenue potential from adult Apps for developer/publishers with access to premium content (e.g. Twistbox) could be substantial if Apple supports it.
No surprise...the story has twist. According to Wired the developer is claiming that the App is only temporarily "sold out" and that he voluntarily removed it to upgrade his server capacity....and that it will soon make an encore for your salacious viewing pleasure. We'll see about that...Apple has shown itself to be pretty prudish in the past and my guess is that they got spooked by outrage from family media watchdogs like the UK group covered in today's Daily Mail article.
I'm very interested to see how this plays out and to understand Apple's official stance on adult content...purely from a civil liberties & business standpoint, dontchaknow.
btw -- for those of you concerned about a dearth of nudity on your iPhone it's time to get more comfortable with an application called Safari.