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Playboy cuts out nudity before it hits iPad pages

Apple and Playboy are rather unlikely bedfellows. Hugh Hefner, who runs America's sauciest publishing house, has made billions from selling sex and -- up until January at least -- continued to enjoy the company of three live-in lovers whose combined ages were still two decades younger than his 84 years.

Other than being exceedingly rich, Apple's founder Steve Jobs couldn't be more different. The 55-year-old rarely dresses in anything more outrageous than a black polo neck, and has been married to his wife Laurene since 1991. He is vehemently anti-porn and insists his iPhone and iPads be free of any applications that could be deemed remotely amoral.



Censoring

Yet Playboy is releasing a high-definition edition of its magazine for the iPad where readers can flick through the pages of the latest edition with a swish of their finger.

But Playboy is censoring its output, and has promised to cover up its cover girls for the iPad edition to comply with Apple's strict no-nudity policy. The decision has led to an outcry on web forums and renewed the debate over how much editorial control Apple wields through its App Store.

A review of the new app by MinOnline found that the App Store will charge $4.99 (£3.87), the same as Playboy's cover price, for a version with none of the nudity that makes Playboy so popular.

"To be sure, Playboy has put in almost all of the issue, but it leaves out most of the pictorials and cartoons as well as anything more than attractive headshots of its Playmate of the Month," the review read.

Only applications that have been approved by Apple can be sold by the company's App Store which retains a policy of refusing anything that is "obscene, pornographic, or defamatory".

There is little Apple can do to stop people using their iPhone and iPad internet browsers to access porn. No one has yet released any figures as to how much time Apple users spend accessing porn but the wide proliferation of porn sites specifically developed for iPhones suggest the demand is there.

hnews@herald.ie