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BBC iPhone Applications Postponed

BBCThe BBC's plan to launch iPhone apps for its news and sport content have been put on hold by its governing body. The BBC Trust has asked the BBC to postpone its plans while it looks into the business case for the new services.

The free applications were due to be released in April but have met with criticism from groups who say they will skew the market for news apps. iPhone AppsThe BBC's plan to launch iPhone apps for its news and sport content have been put on hold by its governing body.

The BBC Trust has asked the BBC to postpone its plans while it looks into the business case for the new services.

The free applications were due to be released in April but have met with criticism from groups who say they will skew the market for news apps.

Several newspapers including the Guardian and Daily Telegraph already offer both free and paid-for apps.

A spokesperson for the BBC Trust said that the body had decided to launch an assessment of the apps after "representations from industry".

One of the most vocal opponents has been the Newspaper Publishers Association (NPA), which said that the corporation would "damage the nascent market" for apps.

The trust's investigation will decide whether the apps constitute an extension to the BBC's existing services or are an entirely new offering.

At launch, the BBC executive told the trust that the apps fell under the terms of its existing BBC service licence.

If the trust finds this is not the case, they will undergo a more lengthy public value test.

The applications were first shown-off at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The news app is intended to repackage content from the BBC News website including written stories, correspondent blogs and video.

A sports app was also scheduled to be released before the World Cup, which starts in June. It would offer content from the BBC Sport website, 5 Live radio and allow football fans to watch World Cup matches live on their phone.

The corporation said at launch that it would initially build applications for the iPhone but would then focus on developing similar software for Google's Android operating system and RIM (Blackberry).

"We are focussed on making BBC Online's core web propositions more user-friendly, convenient and accessible, and using existing content to create truly distinctive products around our core public service areas," said a spokesperson for the BBC.

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