YORK, Pa. (AdAge.com) -- Apple yanked an ill-considered iPhone application from its App Store yesterday after strenuous objections from several parenting groups. The "Baby Shaker" app featured a loud, crying baby that would stop only when the iPhone user vigorously shook the phone. It went on sale on Monday for 99 cents and was pulled two days later.
The app was not created by Apple -- a development company named Sikalosoft was listed as the creator -- but anything posted on the store has to go through an approval process at Apple. And that's what has the parenting groups and others in such an uproar.
"Apple Inc., which notoriously and routinely rejects new apps from developers with a 'rigorous' vetting process, nonetheless apparently allowed this horrible application to be sold through its store," reads a press release from the Sarah Jane Brain Foundation that was written before the app was pulled.
The spokeswoman for the group, Jennifer Dickens, whose 2-year-old son suffered irreversible brain damage when he was shaken by his biological father as an infant, said in the release, "This horrible iPhone app will undoubtedly be downloaded thousands of times by others in that same young-male demographic -- the population group that is already statistically the most likely to shake babies."
The release also included a statement against the app from the founder of the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome, as well as the contact phone numbers and e-mail addresses for Apple CEO Steve Jobs; Scott Forstall, iPhone software senior VP; and Sina Tamaddon, senior VP-applications.
But the outcry goes further than just parents of injured children. Reviewers, other developers and many consumers are expressing outrage and disgust across the web. JammieWearingFool writes: "While they're busy removing this, they need to remove the idiots who thought this was a good application for an iPhone. This is just sick."
Application-review site Krapps wrote in a review before the app was pulled: "Maybe it's just us, but we would never even joke about child abuse and use it as a form of entertainment. Maybe we're just square pegs and out of the norm because apparently Apple and the folks at Sikalosoft think shaking a baby is funny."
Neither Sikalosoft nor Apple responded to requests for comment.