South Park iPhone App a No-Show in Apps Store; Cartman Blames Kyle's Mom.


Remember back in October when I blogged about a new iPhone app from the South Park guys? Not sure what the whole story is on this one, but our friends at South Park tell us the app has long been completed -- so, well, where is it? Via email:

We first announced our iPhone App back in October, after we submitted the Application to Apple for approval. After a couple of attempts to get the application approved, we are sad to say that our app has been rejected. According to Apple, the content was "potentially offensive." But Apple did admit that the standards would evolve, citing that when iTunes first launched it didn't sell any music with explicit lyrics. At this point, we are sad to say, the app is dead in the water. Sorry, South Park fans.
Our source says the app was rejected from the Apps store twice. The content is pretty much what you see on the show.

Eric Cartman had this to say. Above, Matt Stone demonstrating the app while it was still in development last Fall.

Previous BB post with more screengrabs from the missing-in-action app: BB exclusive: sneak peek at South Park's sweet, yet-unreleased iPhone app



  1. Bulls*** Apple.

    South Park is sold uncensored in the iTunes Music Store. Apple doesn’t want to approve the South Park app because it gives iPhone users free access to content they’d otherwise have to pay for. And if users pay for it, Apple gets a cut.

    It’s that simple. They could at least come out and say it.

  2. But Apple did admit that the standards would evolve, citing that when iTunes first launched it didn’t sell any music with explicit lyrics.

    LOL @ “explicit lyrics”, is that pathetic moral panic still around?

    Although I’ve heard that Wal-Mart only sells Bowdlerized versions of CDs.

  3. So, do we still love Apple? Are we all still standing in line to fellate the most aggressive proponent of DRM in the entire computing industry?

    Why is everyone rolling over and accepting the iPhone? This is exactly what we strongly and unanimously opposed on the PC when they called it “trusted computing:” the combination of hardware and software that makes it impossible for third party vendors to create applications without the approval of the hardware vendor.

    And to add insult to injury, the hardware vendor has taken it upon itself to discriminate not just based on application quality, compatibility, or even protection of their existing revenue streams, but based solely upon their definition of objectionable content.

    Apple has, with this action, managed to hit pretty much every single point on the checklist of evil.

    Oh, but it’s just a phone, don’t take it so seriously! And the interface is just so much better than everything else! And it’s just so stylish! Clearly, Apple can do no wrong.

    1. ooh, ooh, there’s a line for fellatio? where do I get in line….oh… we’re supposed to fellate them. Syncrotic, you’re version of the world sucks.

  4. What syncrotic said +1.

    I don’t own anything Mac and never will as long as they keep acting like this. Who buys a device they can’t actually make their own?

    Lots of people apparently…. Sad.


    You can also make a laundry list of iPod offenses. But without going into those, I see this as another example of vertical proliferation leading to corporate censorship.

  6. My company has had random success getting stuff onto the app store with various rejection reasoning – biography isn’t authorized, offensive content, too much “cartoon” blood, etc… But I love this as it shows the outright double standard the apps endure compared to the rest of iTunes – South Park tv episodes are sold uncensored in iTunes but the app can’t be. I hate that the app isn’t in the store but love how I now have a perfect example of how crazy Apple’s app approval process is.

  7. Apple is a profoundly Christian organization. It’s all the logo, baby. Get it? They’re Eve worshipers. But this behavior just fits right in with where we’re all marching anyway.

    I own an iPod Touch and I like using it. But I also know fascism when it’s right in the palm of my hand. Super-efficiency in a very streamlined package with moralistic limitations is always a harbinger of a fascistic streak.

    Shepherd Ferry’s Obama poster is the most fascist image in politics since the imagery of the Third Reich. Notice that anyone? Or am I the only one? Not a chance. Obama’s people call themselves a ‘standing army.’ Get it?

    Is it unpopular to think of Apple and Obama posters as fascist?

    Simple, streamlined, bold, controlling. We are truly deep in it and don’t even know it.

  8. Let’s be fair to Apple here. In creating a piece of hardware they had no choice but to make themselves the sole gatekeeper for software on that machine. Hardware manufacturers are responsible for and tacitly condone everything a user does with that hardware. When you use your iPhone to play a South Park clip, it’s tantamount to Steve Jobs himself broadcasting the clip to you, so you can see why he has an interest in making sure anything you do with your iPhone lives up to his moral standards. It’s the same reason you can’t make out in your truck unless Ford pre-approves your date.

  9. Alessandro Cima @#9:

    re: your characterisation of an iconic image as used in the American electoral process as “fascist”;

    Irony is not a vitamin supplement.

  10. I can understand why Apple does not allow objectionable material onto the Apps Store at this point in time, but does allow it on iTunes. There is a content rating system on iTunes, and the iPod Touch / iPhone does have a content lockout mechanism to prevent people from accessing certain designations of content on the iTunes store, or from accessing the iTunes store altogether. It merely has a lockout for the App Store, yes/no – there are no gradations and no content rating.

    However, there’s not really anything stopping them from producing a technical answer to this issue: Create the gradation for the apps store and have program producers classify their offerings.

    Anything that can touch an arbitrary resource on the Internet or on another person’s computer will, of course, be unsuitable for minors.

    — As an aside, independent from the argument I am making above, I will make an observation: There is some rather explicit content available on the iTunes Store that is not classified as such; There is even explicit porn.

    Blanket censorship by an authority is never the answer. Parents need to be involved in what their kids are doing, watching, and listening to.

  11. “Stop the press: Apple sucks!”

    This isn’t really a huge shock though. The hideous obsession that Apple have with vertical integration made this sort of thing pretty much inevitable, really.

  12. Is it really that hard to make a NSFW, or for mature users section on your iPhone Apps store? I mean you’re supposed to be Apple right?

    Apple has been screwing with us for so long, but somehow, its a poison we want to indulge in. Their marketing is so awesome that they literally seduce people into buying products that allow them to control them by the beck. Ever seen their keyboard-less laptop? If that becomes big, I think I will finally lose any hope for humanity’s intellect.

  13. Re: fascist

    In the words of the great Inyego Montoya “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

    Fascist is not a German word.
    Fascist is not the same as Nazi.
    Fascist is a word coined by Mussolini.
    Fascist is not a fashion sense.
    Fascist is not a racist agenda.

    Fascist is applicable when the FCC walls off Apples garden FOR THEM.

  14. Okay, okay. Hold your horses people. This is not evil. This is not fascist. Don’t cheapen concepts like those by applying them to situations that don’t merit them.

    What Apple is doing is stupid, yes. There are something like 45 $0.99 apps that do nothing but make fart noises. That’s offensive!

    What’s even more offensive is Apple thinking that it knows what will offend me more than I do. If you’re likely to be offended by South Park, you will probably not download this application. If you somehow accidentally search for it, click install, type in your password, wait for it to load, open it, browse for a minutes until you find something juicy, and then are offended by it then do you really think it’s the App Store’s fault?

    Come on Apple. Open up!

  15. Bardfinn,

    What makes irony so interesting is that it cannot be defined. You can only tell irony from the feeling it gives you.

    I repeat, without a trace of irony, the Shepherd Ferry Obama poster is the most fascist political image I have ever seen in the U.S.

    Feel it?

  16. Fascism is a tendency. Tendency. It’s difficult to define, like irony. You just have to know it when you see it. That’s why when it comes only a few get out. The rest enjoy it so much they never see it coming.

    And we all know it’s not a German word.

    It’s really quite simple actually.

  17. Ever seen their keyboard-less laptop? If that becomes big, I think I will finally lose any hope for humanity’s intellect.

    Perhaps my irony detector is malfunctioning, Auto Parts For Brains, and you are being brilliantly and subtly sarcastic, but in case you’re not…you do know that the click-wheel laptop was a joke by The Onion, don’t you? Apple doesn’t actually make or market one.

    I wouldn’t call this fascist either. Just the usual corporate stupidity. Apple’s not immune.

  18. Excuse me, but Shepard Fairey’s “Obama” poster is not “facist” nor is it evocative of facism.

    It is in the socialist realist style, much favored by Josep Stalin. According to my friend Coco the Unemployed Art Historian, anyway.

    The gigantic rods and fasces on the walls of the US Senate, however, are very evocative of facism. Which is deliciously ironic, I suppose, given that the inventor of fascism called it “the rule of the corporation”, and given that the symbols pre-date Mussolini by centuries.

  19. Ito,

    I’m not sure why I keep misspelling the artist’s name. Thanks for the correction.

    But no. The simple shapes and colors that elevate the figure above the viewer are crucial. The eyes looking off above and beyond. The point of view for the entire image puts the viewer below. The figurehead rises above the viewer. This image is very unsettling. I have it in a frame in my hallway. I put it up with the best of intentions. But it scares me every time I walk past it now. I’m still trying to figure out just how insanely fascist the image really is. The photo taken by the photojournalist is not fascist. The image as snatched and altered by Fairy is fascist. It should be obvious.

    But back to the iPod. I would like South Park on mine for sure. Those guys have the right attitude as far as I’m concerned. They cuss. A lot. That’s always funny. To me.

  20. Man! its all about control over content on the iphone… same deal as with the Adobe flash which still doesn’t run on the iphone with the lame excuse that Apple says it would run too slowly…

    but really it is again about control…
    having SWF and FLV files running on the iphone would have a whole bunch of content playing on the iphone which apple and their app store would have little control over…

    dang but why do I still want to get an iphone


    (err sorry had several glasses of red wine…)

    and how amusing my recaptcha is
    “press impaired”..

  21. Apple is such a a-hole company, if you look close. They’re the kings of interface design, but they always manage to totally screw up in the most annoying places. I had to learn this the hard way over the years…

    The problem is: I really love good interface design, and they’re the best, so I’m torn apart between getting their products and putting up with exploding power supplies, ridiculous hardware locks, bad LCD screens and BANNED SOUTHPARK APPS (that’s new to the list!)… or looking for slightly less polished alternatives. How annoying.

  22. Right.

    Hate to have to toot my own horn, but you guys really need to go back and read my comment at #1 before voicing your outrage about censorship.

    This is NOT about moral censorship. Apple is an urban-California company, they’re not Wal-Mart. The “this App may be offensive to some viewers” is a line that sounds completely foreign coming from their mouths.

    HOW can they SELL South Park in the iTMS and not distribute an App that allows people to get South Park for free? THINK about it, the answer is pretty obvious.

  23. as long as no other company can execute the simple elegance of this damn iPhone, Apple has got us in their clutches.

    I personally feel like Apple is the girl that’s cheating on me.

    I refuse to be abused like this APPLE!!!

    We are breaking up soon.

  24. A fascism is not a gaze or color scheme any more than a crucifix hanging in the curdled cleavage of aging pop star is Christian.

  25. @12

    “In creating a piece of hardware they had no choice but to make themselves the sole gatekeeper for software on that machine. Hardware manufacturers are responsible for and tacitly condone everything a user does with that hardware.”

    I’d share my thoughts, but I don’t want to be responsible for your reactions.

  26. Alessandro,

    Look up futurism for some examples of fascist art.

    You are conflating places, times, styles of art.

    There is no “fascist” formal aesthetic in art any more than there could be a liberal color of pink.

  27. This is a complete non-issue. It’s Apple’s app store, and they can do what they want with it. If you own an iphone or itouch, you knew going in that your only (legal) option for software was to go through Apple. If you didn’t want to be treated like a baby by your cell phone manufacturer, you shouldn’t have bought a cell phone from a company with a long and glorious history of babying their customers.

    Say what you will about the great and terrible Microsoft, at least they don’t try to control what you can and cannot put on your Windows Mobile phone.

  28. bardfinn, i agree… how difficult can it be to create an age-appropriate ratings system for the app store much like itunes? i personally love south park in all its ghastly glory and naked adult content, too. just think of all the fun apps that could be done with that multi-touch interface! as developers we can program anything we want for the mac… why not the iphone? what’s the big difference? seems like the app store is an artificially induced monopoly to me, that of course, apple will protect as long as it possibly can.


  29. I’m surprised they even bothered to develop the app, at least with an episode viewer inbuilt.

    Should be plain and obvious, #1 Geekman even got in first with it and we’re still talking about fascism and censorship.

    This will take $ away from Apple, and I’m sure there is a big crossover of Gadget-buyers and South park fans. Simple.

    Shameful that they aren’t coming out and saying this – they are pretty straight forward when it comes to denying apps because they replicate functionality of the device as-sold, or compete with services sold with/for the device.

    An app that acts as a portal for a free SMS service would be declined, even though you can click through in Safari and use it there.

    Again, seems straight forward and obvious. Writers and journos know not to accept Apple’s official line on anything (see: Jobs’ illness, MSNBC reports vs Gizmodo’s), why take it so willingly in this instance?

  30. I agree: Give us a download link to the application’s .ipa file, so those of us who have Jailbroken phones can play with it and taunt our friends who have no balls and are still at the mercy of Apple.

  31. I agree, allow people with jailbroken iPhones to use it. Host it on Cydia with Planet-iPhones, The Big Boss, or Modmyi.

  32. comment #1 is probably why there is not flash player on the thing. then we could just watch them on the website and play games that are sold as apps such as defend your castle for free.
    we is an incorrect term here as I do not own one but if they got a flash player I would buy one tomorrow.

  33. If you didn’t want to be treated like a baby by your cell phone manufacturer, you shouldn’t have bought a cell phone from a company with a long and glorious history of babying their customers.

    But it is sorta glorious when it just works, innit?

  34. Yeah! Forget those money hung ass Apple Mofos!!! That’s why I have an iPhone 3G unlocked without giving them a a brown nosed penny for it through ATT…. Hurrah for the Free World Order!!

  35. FYI: this article has been submitted to Digg. Anyone who wants to send a message to Apple should digg it. I’ll be pushing this article on other social media fronts.

  36. I’ll do just fine without an iPhone or any other Apple product. South Park, I refuse to go without.

    Jobs may go the way of Scott Tenorman for all I care.

  37. To all the people here that posted as victims, accepting the ‘reality’ of the situation that you cannot have something you want; for this example South Park on your iphone, you spent all this time here whining about how apple is keeping something from people, when the real situation is that using apple’s products is not the ONLY way to get the episodes on your iphone. Some ways are ‘legal’, some are not, some require money, some are free. The point is, when YOU decide you can’t have something is when you miss out, just because apple denies one application, it doesn’t mean your chances of having it are any less, it just means you have to be open to more possibilities. People need to stop giving other people so much control over their ability to have things, seriously.

  38. @ito & alessandro

    the shepard fairey poster was created in the russian constructivist style. many prominent russian constructivist artists taught and worked at the bauhaus, but were persecuted and eventually shut down by fascist nazis. socialist realism is a style of art that communists under stalin proposed to replace the “decadent bourgeois art” of constructivism.

    so, shepard fairey and obama = not fascist, but last time i heard, moralistic censorship (like what apple is exhibiting in this case) was one of the core tenants of fascism…

  39. Hey, it’s unfair to say that only the GOP is against swearing and lowbrow content. I’d like to remind you it was Tipper Gore that started the whole music labeling thing for explicit language. Democrats have a long history of taking a stand for standards (so to speak). There’s no reason to slander Democrats.

    Also by the way, the reason here is simple… parents can’t set parental controls for the app store so Apple can’t allow this app. In the iTunes store Apple can control standards.

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