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Apple criticised for iPhone’s Baby Shaker

WASHINGTON – Apple came under fire on Wednesday after an application for the iPhone, Baby Shaker, was briefly approved for sale in the company’s online store.

The program, which reportedly appeared in Apple’s App Store on Monday and cost USD 0.99 to download, allowed a user to shake an iPhone screen to make a baby stop crying.

After enough shakes, the hand-drawn baby pictured on the screen stopped wailing and a large red ‘X’ appeared over each eye.

Silicon Valley technology blogs reported that the application, from an outside developer called Sikalosoft, was pulled from the App Store several hours after Krapps.com, a website which reviews iPhone applications, revealed its existence.

Tens of thousands of applications for the iPhone have been created by independent developers, but Apple has strict control over which ones are featured in the App Store.

The Sarah Jane Brain Foundation, a New York-based group which seeks to prevent brain injuries from so-called Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS), strongly condemned the Baby Shaker application.

In a statement, it also demanded ‘a personal apology to parents of SBS victims and survivors’ from Apple chief executive Steve Jobs.

"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," the Foundation said.

"They’re basically saying that killing babies is OK," Patrick Donohue, founder of the Sarah Jane Brain Foundation, told AFP by telephone.

He said he had contacted Apple but had yet to hear back from the company.

The appearance of the Baby Shaker comes as California-based Apple prepares to celebrate the billionth application download from the App Store.

A counter at apple.com was at more than 995 million downloads at 0030 GMT on Thursday and the billionth download mark was expected to be passed within the next few hours.

AFP / Expatica