"I read it for the articles." It is a cliché because of Playboy, and now that Hugh Hefner's empire is leaning out of the "smut" business, the real boss is betting you actually will read them — or at least buy mobile content with lingerie instead of naked ladies — when Playboy launches its first iPhone app later this year.

The Wall Street Journal has a big look at the current state of your dad's favorite nudie magazine. Things are rocky, at best, at Hef's house. The company is making more money off less revenue thanks to some shrewd business decisions from Scott Flanders, the company's first CEO without the last name Hefner. In some ways, Flanders is fitting in. Making money helps. In other ways, he's not — he had to undergo sensitivity training for hitting on Playmates when he first started. But he's still doing better than former CEO Christie Hefner, who left the company in 2009 after company stock hit a record low — her husband was eventually mired in an insider trading scandal spanning some of the time she spent heading the company. 

Flanders, in edition to making Playboy more lean, is pushing mobile. The confines of the app world, of course, have pornographic boundaries when you want to make money, at least legitimately. But it appears Apple may finally be willing to open the gates of the App Store:

This winter, the company, long barred from Apple's digital storefronts because of its pornographic associations, will package a nudity-free version of its content together for the launch of its first iPhone app, featuring lifestyle tips, articles from the magazine and, of course, photos of beautiful women.

Even as Playboy has cut its circulation, it has developed a surprisingly successful tame version of itself on social media — its Instagram feed is one of the most popular — and on the newsstands, where a lingerie-only version of the magazine doesn't need those extra, uh, racks over the top two-thirds of the cover. And the magazine is still publishing great articles — the new issue has a long read on the embers of the Arab Spring and the latest in the still great "Playboy Interview" series, this time with Jimmy Kimmel.

So, mobile readers will have to actually read Playboy for the articles, with a little lingerie on the side. This could totally work. What could go wrong?