BBC iPhone apps on hold

Plans by the BBC to launch dedicated applications for its mobile content have been postponed following an intervention by the BBC Trust.

The involvement of the corporation’s regulatory body follows representations by the newspaper industry through the Newspaper Publishers Association (NPA), which feared the launch of the BBC apps might damage the nascent market for its own mobile applications. Newspapers including The Guardian and the Daily Telegraph already run their own iPhone applications. It should be noted that the same phones capable of running the apps are equally capable of accessing BBC and newspaper content from the internet.

The Trust will now assess the market, though has stopped short of a full-blown consultation, or a Public Value Test.

Applications suitable for Apple iPhone, Blackberry and Google Android devices were announced by BBC director of Future Media & Technology Erik Huggers in February. The first application, an iPhone app for BBC News, was slated for launch next month.