BBC iPhone apps set to launch

News Web User Jul 22, 2010

BBC News and BBC Sport iPhone apps could be available in the iTunes App Store as early as Friday afternoon, the BBC has said.

The way has been cleared for the launch of two iPhone apps from the BBC, after the BBC Trust decided that there was no need to undertake a Public Value Test (PVT).

The BBC News and BBC Sport iPhone apps were first announced at this year's Mobile World Congress (MWC) event in Barcelona in February.

The BBC temporarily shelved the plans amid complaints from other publishers, who believed that the BBC could gain a dominant position in the mobile app market.

BBC Trust, the governing body of the corporation, then undertook a preliminary investigation to decide whether a PVT was required. BBC Trustee Diane Coyle, who led the review, said: "The Apps market is rapidly taking off as more people choose to get their news, sport and other online content while they're on the move.

"The Trust has a duty to represent the interests of licence fee payers, who will increasingly expect to access BBC content in this way, but also to listen to concerns raised by industry. In this case we have concluded that while the Apps market is developing quickly and we will monitor the launch of BBC Apps, a PVT is not required," she continued.

The BBC had hoped that its Sport iPhone app would let football fans see matches from the 2010 World Cup tournament live on their handsets, though this didn't happen due to the BBC Trust investigation.

The apps, which will be free, could be in the iTunes App Store as early as Friday afternoon.

"The team have worked really hard to design, develop and launch these apps and we would really welcome your comments and feedback," the BBC's David Madden said.