CUPERTINO, Calif.—Maybe Apple won’t be rolling out “explicit” categories in the App Store after all, at least not after Steve Jobs' comments Thursday at the iPhone OS 4.0 event, where a preview of the latest operating system was previewed.
During a Q&A session, Ryan Block of gdgt asked Jobs whether Apple plans on enabling unsigned applications like Android and Palm OS, and the CEO shocked many people when he answered by blaming porn for the decision not to sanction outside development. Signed apps are ones that have been approved for download to iDevices.
“There’s a porn store for Android,” he replied. “You can download nothing but porn. You can download porn; your kids can download porn. That’s a place we don’t want to go – so we’re not going to go there.
Jobs was referring to MiKandi, the innovative and increasingly popular facilitator and marketer of Android-based adult apps. In citing porn as the reason for making such an important decision, however, the iconic business leader elicited immediate criticism.
“The answer — that the iPhone will not allow for unsigned apps — does not come as a surprise,” wrote Jason Kincaid for TechCrunch. "But Jobs’s reasoning behind it was certainly interesting to hear, because it’s a clear example of Apple’s hypocrisy.
“For years," he continued, “iTunes has sold songs with explicit lyrics and movies with graphic nudity. Further, as we’ve pointed out numerous times, the iPhone comes with Safari. The web has quite a bit of porn on it. Hell, many porn sites have even launched HTML5 versions that are optimized for the iPhone. Yes, parents can disable access to Safari with parental controls, but Apple could easily add a similar parental control setting to restrict running unsigned applications, too.”
Josh Smith on Notebook.com also took issue with Job's answer. “There are plenty of reasons to allow users to run unsigned apps, like testing out the beta of Rhapsody for Android. Sure it allows some users to download a porn application (MiKandi if you must know) to their phone; but it’s hardly a reason to put up a giant fence around a really cool playground and tell us that you’re taking your ball and going home as soon as someone does something you don’t like.”