Tim Cook knows what some people do with their iPhones, and he’s not going to stop them. The Apple CEO said in an interview with Kara Swisher on Wednesday that people who want to use their smartphone to look at porn are free to use the web browser, but they shouldn’t expect Apple to start offering apps. It’s a change of tone from his predecessor Steve Jobs, who used to suggest the company had a moral duty to keep porn off the iPhone.

“We’re like the guy on the corner store. What you sell in that store says something about you, and if you don’t want to sell that other thing, you don’t sell it,” Cook told MSNBC. “It doesn’t mean that you can’t use an iPhone to go to your browser and go to some porno site, if you want to do that…I’m not making fun of it! But I’m just saying that it’s not what we want to put in our store. We want kids to go to the store, right, because kids – there’s a lot of learning, education apps in the store. And so, we’ve always done that.”

Tim Cook speaking with Kara Swisher.
Tim Cook speaking with Kara Swisher.

Cook is right in that Apple’s policy hasn’t actually changed, but Jobs was a lot less relaxed about customers looking at porn. He told Gawker reporter Ryan Tate in 2010 that the newly-released iPad offered “freedom from porn,” and he “might care more about that when you have kids.” Jobs also told M.G. Seigler that Apple had a “moral responsibility” to keep porn off the iPhone.

Jobs’ anti-porn stance earned him strong praise among conservative Christians, with Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council stating that he was “grateful that Jobs is trying to keep the iPad from becoming an eyesore,” while conservative writer Kevin Staley-Joyce also supported his “hard line on smut.” All of this mattered when the iPad didn’t run Adobe Flash, meaning most websites of the time had to release an app to stream videos, which in turn meant Apple’s ban was a pretty big deal.

Soon after the iPad’s launch, the internet switched over to HTML5 video streams, rendering Apple’s ban on porn apps somewhat inconsequential as people could just watch using the browser. Cook’s policy can continue as long as it wants, as far as most porn watchers are concerned.

The question is whether Apple’s rumored augmented reality headset could ship with similar restrictions, sparking the porn debate all over again.