Steve Jobs: Android Phones Are for Porn

Tuesday, Apr 20, 2010  |  Updated 1:26 PM PDT
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Apple CEO Steve Jobs is looking at you, Google.

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For a while now, Apple CEO Steve Jobs has been firing back fortune-cookie-long e-mails to customers about any number of things. One of the latest little nuggets from Jobs, however, was a snipe at Google that may actually be more of a comment about Apple, instead.

Jobs was responding to customer Matthew Browing, who wrote in to Jobs about a "philosophical issue" with Apple's rejection of a recent app. It was satirist Mark Fiore's, whose humor was good enough to net him a Pulitzer Prize, but he didn't have the chops to get by Apple's rigorous screening, it seems. His app, NewToons, was axed for containing "content that ridicules public figures" and fell with in the company's definition for "materials that may be considered obscene, pornographic, or defamatory."

"It appears that more and more Apple is determining for it's consumers what content they should be able to receive," Browing wrote. "I'm all for keeping porn out of kids hands. Heck — I'm all for ensuring that I don't have to see it unless I want to. But... that's what parental controls are for. Put these types of apps into categories and allow them to be blocked by their parents should they want to."

"Apple's role isn't moral police," he added. "Apple's role is to design and produce really cool gadgets that do what the consumer wants them to do."

It all sounds pretty reasonable, doesn't it? Well, unless you're a fan of the apps that help you raise your baby. Maybe a baby-raising gadget from Apple is exactly what you're looking for.

Jobs replied that "we do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone. Folks who want porn can buy and [sic] Android phone." Is that an official endorsement, then?

We're all for Steve Jobs taking a hands-on approach when it comes to interfacing with his consumers. He's a truly modern CEO. What we're not for is Apple's censorship and closed development environment. It's all very one hand open, one hand closed.

Here's Browing's full letter to Jobs:

Steve,
I was converted to Apple products with the announcement of the iPhone 3G. (My friends have been trying to convince me for years.) Since then I've purchased 4 iPhones, 2 computers, several routers, and miscellaneous other items. Unfortunately, I'm really starting to have a philosophical issue with your company. It appears that more and more Apple is determining for it's consumers what content they should be able to receive. For instance, the blocking of Mark Fiore's comic app (due to being political satire) or blocking of what Apple considers to be porn.

I'm all for keeping porn out of kids hands. Heck - I'm all for ensuring that I don't have to see it unless I want to. But... that's what parental controls are for. Put these types of apps into categories and allow them to be blocked by their parents should they want to.

Apple's role isn't moral police - Apple's role is to design and produce really cool gadgets that do what the consumer wants them to do.

Thanks for listening

-Matthew

Here's the reply from Jobs:

Fiore's app will be in the store shortly. That was a mistake. However, we do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone. Folks who want porn can buy and Android phone.

Via TechCrunch

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