Charlie Hebdo was no friend of Apple’s – update

January 14, 2015, 4:28 PM UTC

Charlie Hebdo was approached in 2010 by developers interested in putting the satirical weekly on the iPad. According to publisher Stephane (“Charb”) Charbonnier — one of eight staff members killed last week — he heard them out and sent them packing.

Convinced at the end of the interview that we could put out a digital Charlie Hebdo for the same price as the paper, we were close to closing the deal,” he wrote. “One last question tipped it. Does Apple get to see what’s in the issue? Ah, yes, of course! No sex. And maybe other stuff. It’s Apple who decides.

“Goodbye, iPad. Farewell, iPhone. Charlie Hebdo will never be on iPad. Die, Steve Jobs.”

With that, Charbonnier launched into an attack on Apple — and Steve Jobs personally — that would make Mohammed blush.

“Apple, the new moral order,” read one headline. “Burn a book, that’s fascism, péter (break wind) on an iPad, that’s liberty!”

Charbonnier contributed several drawings himself, including the adventures of the Gros Con (big idiot) reproduced above.

Some of the cartoons in the campaign are not so safe for office viewing: A representation of the press lapping at Jobs’ backside; a naked Adam, with iPad, pleasuring himself; men and women as Apple would have them portrayed, with their erogenous zones surgically removed.

“Collaborators! Publishers of dreck! Censorship that Sarkozy could only dream of imposing on the press, an American industrialist was able to impose with your complicity,” Charbonnier writes.

“Blinded by the beauty of technological progress, the press doesn’t see that the brilliant engineer is actually a little dirty cop.”

Charlie Hebdo still doesn’t have an iPad app, and probably never will. There is, however, a Je Suis Charlie app on the App Store, its approval reportedly fast-tracked Tuesday with Tim Cook’s blessing.

UPDATE: I stand corrected: Apple has approved the Charlie Hebdo as a Newsstand app. See here.

Not safe for office viewing: Steve Jobs devrait-il être pendu par les couilles?

Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter at @philiped. Read his Apple AAPL coverage at or subscribe via his RSS feed.

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