Apple pulls plug on 'Baby Shaker' iPhone program

Apr 23, 2009 By JESSICA MINTZ , AP Technology Writer
In this April 21, 2009 photo, a customer holds an Apple iPod Touch at an Apple store in Palo Alto, Calif. Apple Inc. says its profit jumped 15 percent in the last quarter, well ahead of Wall Street's expectations despite the global economic downturn. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

(AP) -- Apple Inc. pulled a 99-cent iPhone game called "Baby Shaker" from its iTunes store Wednesday after its premise - quiet a crying baby with a vigorous shake - prompted outrage.

According to screen shots posted on several Web sites, "Baby Shaker" displayed black-and-white line drawings of a baby. The description included the line, "See how long you can endure his or her adorable cries before you just have to find a way to quiet the baby down!" Once the iPhone owner finishes shaking the device, the on-screen baby is depicted with large red X's over its eyes.

Public outcry ensued, with organizations including the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome and the Sarah Jane Brain Foundation condemning Apple for approving the game's sale.

The application was designed by Sikalosoft, which also makes a 99-cent "Dice Mosaic" iPhone program that converts digital photos into black and white mosaics made from dice.

Sikalosoft did not respond to an e-mail seeking comment, but "Baby Shaker" was deleted from its Web site Wednesday afternoon.

Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris said "Baby Shaker" went on sale Monday, and confirmed that Apple removed it Wednesday. She would not comment on why the program was initially approved for sale nor about how many people downloaded the game. Apple itself screens each iPhone application, a process some prospective iPhone application developers have complained can take weeks or months. Others have said gives little feedback when it accepts or rejects a program.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based company has rejected apps that let users throw virtual shoes at President George W. Bush or watch clips from the "South Park" cartoon. It has accepted numerous programs that simulate flatulence.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Arn
not rated yet Apr 23, 2009
Whew! Even the coolest ubermarketer stumbles, sometimes. Why the deafening silence here? If it were Microsoft involved, there would surely be thousands of rants 'round here.