Apple Allows Uncensored Playboy Magazine on the iPad… Not

CHICAGO—If one were to take the headlines at face value it would appear that Apple has done a dramatic about-face about porn on the iPad, but of course nothing of the sort has actually happened, not even a minor bit of backpedaling. Tuesday, Playboy captured headlines when it announced that an app was approved by Apple that would allow an uncensored Playboy magazine into the App Store, but that was was technically incorrect, or purposefully misleading. (We prefer to believe it was the latter.)

According to an update on the situation by Forbes today, Apple remains officially opposed to porn on its devices, the company has not backed down on its ‘no porn, no nudity’ policy for apps, and no one is trying to loosen the guidelines in the wake of Steve Jobs’ medical leave of absence. Like a myriad amount of other adult content, explicit and otherwise, Playboy magazine will be available starting in March by way of your web browser. Welcome to the internets!

A Playboy spokesperson clarified the news today.

“We are releasing a web-based subscription service with Bondi Digital Publishing that will give users access to every issue of Playboy both past and present. The service will be iPad compatible and will utilize iPad functions,” she told Forbes. “We also have plans to release a non-nude version of a Playboy-branded iPad app in the coming months that adheres to all of Apple’s policies and guidelines.”

Forbes’ Jeff Berkovici titled his update “Relax, Everyone: Apple Isn’t Bending Its Rules for Playboy,” which is a humorous take on the fervor and incomprehension with which so much of the media responded to the misinformation disseminated yesterday. Interestingly, everyone assumed when Hefner Tweeted the news that he was referring to an app. But the word “app” was not mentioned in the Tweet.

“Big news,” he wrote. “Playboy, both old and new, will be available on iPad beginning in March.” Later, he added, “Playboy on iPad will be uncensored, Hugh.”

That’s all it took for the unwashed masses to assume the unthinkable. Today, the clarification came in, but one can only gawk in wonder at the ease with which the 84-year-old founder of the one of the world’s greatest adult brands continued his mastery of marketing by using a newfangled social network to hold the media in the palm of his hand.