After the controversial removal of over 5,000 apps from the App Store, Apple looks like it's going to change course on the issue again. Initially, the company sought to purge any overtly sexual applications due to customer complaints and its own decency standards.
Apple has come under fire for hypocrisy as several apps such as Playboy, Victoria's Secret, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2010, FHM, and Maxim remain in the App Store while some developers' businesses evaporated overnight. In the meantime, Cult of Mac reports that a new category labeled "Explicit" has appeared to developers interested in submitting apps for approval.
No such category currently exists in the iTunes App Store available to consumers, however this could be a sign that Apple is moving to compromise and separate sexy content from the main area of the App Store. This would enhance the parental controls and rating system implemented with iPhone OS 3.0 and allow adults to view restricted content.
If the explicit category is properly executed it could mean that apps would get more "overtly sexual" in the future, although Apple is likely to continue its nudity ban.Apple gave no warning to developers before pulling the apps, and similarly has not made any announcements regarding the addition of an explicit category. The company has not told developers whether or not banned apps can be reinstated under a new system.