BBC postpones rollout of iPhone apps

30 Mar 2010

Plans by the BBC to launch iPhone apps for news and sport have been put on hold by its governing body. The BBC Trust is revaluating the business case for the apps.

The apps were due to be released in April, but newspaper groups faced with declining ad and circulation revenues have hit out at what they believe is a growing monopoly on news and fear that if the BBC were to sell ads online or on iPhone apps, it could further weaken their industry.

One of the most outspoken opponents has been the Newspaper Publishers Association (NPA) which warned the BBC its vast news resources could damage the nascent market for apps from other news organisations.

The BBC Trust is going to investigate whether the apps constitute an extension to the BBC’s existing service or are an entirely new offering.

The BBC unveiled versions of its apps at the GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona recently and said it plans to develop versions for the BlackBerry and Google’s Android operating system.

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years