Despite being downloaded more than 380,000 times, the app is no longer available at Apple's online app store.
There was “disagreement over the erotic galleries,” spokesman for Hamburg-based Stern publisher Gruner & Jahr, Kurt Otto, told the magazine. The company is in talks to solve questions of ethically questionable content, he added.
But Gruner & Jahr, which also publishes women's magazine Brigitte, is irritated that Apple removed their application without giving notice, saying such scantily clad galleries are widespread in the industry.
Apple's app criteria is known to be opaque with no set criteria, and the company may be sensitive about the April scandal over allowing the controversial “Baby Shaker” app, a game which allowed users to shake a cartoon baby until it died, the magazine said. The app was removed following public outrage.
Apple would not speak with Der Spiegel about the Stern application, but spokesperson Georg Albrecht said it would be available at the online store again soon.