Is Apple Paving the Way for Porn?

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Naked lady sillouette sitting on the apple logo

Is Apple paving the way for porn on their iOS or has the industry just found an effective work-around?

Hugh Hefner announced, in a tweet on Tuesday, that uncensored Playboy issues will be on iPad starting in March. Playboy has already joined the mobile app trend but this flies in the face of what Steve Jobs has said about blocking porn on iOS. So does this mean that Apple is paving the way for porn or does this tweet mean more than meets the eye?

Hefner announces on Twitter that playboy will be uncensored on iPad in March

Truthfully, a bit of both.

The uncensored Playboy will not be an app.  Through Bondi Digital Publishing, Playboy has all of their issues past and present optimized for the web. What they have done is taken the digitized magazines and made them compatible with the iOS web browser, Safari.  It will be a subscription service, so if you subscribe you won’t browse the pages of Playboy through their own native app like you do with Time Magazine – you will be viewing a version optimized for the web on Safari (though they do say it will utilize iPad functions, whatever that means).

Do you really read Playboy for the articles? There is a Playboy app for the iPad and iPhone which clearly states that it features no nudity, but does include provocative photos and articles.  There are “plans to release a non-nude version of a Playboy-branded iPad app in the coming months that adheres to all of Apple’s policies and guidelines,” said Playboy spokeswoman Theresa Hennessey. This will likely be very similar to the app that currently exists for the iPhone and iPad. But can Playboy be softcore enough for Apple, and hardcore enough for their audience? Response to their existing app says no.

Allowing porn on an Apple app would be a complete turnaround for their official stance on porn on the iOS.  Of course there have been apps that are testing the limits, like the app where you can blow up the skirt of an Asian girl.  Then there was the Asian Boobs app that was eventually removed. Currently the line seems to be drawn at nudity.

So porn might be banned on iPad apps, but moves by brands like Playboy are getting Apple closer to defining the difference between acceptable suggestive content and unacceptable explicit content.

On Tuesday in a tweet,
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