Will Porn Rule the App Store? - LAPTOP Magazine: The Pulse of Mobile Technology

Will Porn Rule the App Store?

iphone3gsf_iporn1If I were a parent of a iPhone- or iPod touch-toting child, I’d brush up on those parental control settings mighty quick. The first official soft porn app has made its way into the App Store, the $1.99 Hottest Girls, which has been updated to feature nude photos. Could this have slipped past Apple? I highly doubt it. And the description in iTunes is very clear that the app is rated 17+ and that you must be 17 years old to download it. This could be a tipping point for the App Store. While cheap or free games have dominated up until now, I expect that Hottest Girls will find its way into the top ten quickly, maybe even by the end of the day. And assuming this isn’t a mistake, other soft porn apps could dominate the charts in short order. This development raises all sorts of questions, which I’m sure the cable news channels will have a field day with for the next 24 to 48  hours.

  • What is morally acceptable to watch on a mobile device when you’re in public?
  • How will flight attendants deal with passengers who can’t help but sneak a peek when the in-flight movie bores them to death?
  • Are sexually explicit videos come to iTunes now, too?
  • Will shareholders be psyched about the money-making potential of porn apps or will they be frightened by the potential backlash?
  • How will AT&T react to the iPhone being the first device on its network to officially allow adult content? (Update: AT&T declined to comment).
  • Should more porn apps proliferate, will Apple edit its Top Apps lists so that adult content does not appear, so as not to encourage children to download them?
  • Would it better if Adult content had its own section within the App Store, as opposed to being lumped in the generic Lifestyle section?

I’m eagerly anticipating an official statement from Apple on all this, but the parental controls in the iPhone 3.0 software are there for a reason. Still, it looks like this one little app has just opened the floodgates to a whole lot of controversy.

AUTHOR BIO
Mark Spoonauer
Mark Spoonauer
Responsible for the editorial vision for Laptopmag.com, Mark Spoonauer has been Editor in Chief of LAPTOP since 2003 and has covered technology for nearly 15 years. Mark speaks at key tech industry events and makes regular media appearances on CNBC, Fox and CNN. Mark was previously reviews editor at Mobile Computing, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc.
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