BBC Trust asks for delay in mobile app launches

The BBC Trust has asked the BBC to postpone its plans to launch a number of mobile apps from next month following objections by industry bodies.

The BBC announced last month plans to launch iPhone apps, beginning with a proposed news-themed app followed by a FIFA World Cup-themed app in June ( 17 February 2010).

The BBC Trust said, “We have written to the BBC Executive to advise it that we’ll be carrying out an assessment of its plans to deliver content via dedicated smartphone app. As a result, we’ve asked the Executive to postpone its planned launch of the smartphone apps in April until we’ve reached our conclusions.”

A BBC Trust spokewoman told new media age last month the move wasn’t a public value test but the governing body had “decided to carry out an assessment to see if they constitute a significant change in service” following complaints from industry bodies such as the National Publishers’ Association ( 10 March 2010).

The assessment will examine four areas: how the planned launch will affect users and others, the financial implications of the change, the extent to which the change would involve the BBC in a new area of untested activity, and how long the activity will last.

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