BBC News will launch an iPhone and iPad app in the UK from late this afternoon, the broadcaster has announced, following the BBC Trust’s approval of the Corporation’s release of apps for the platforms.

The free-to-download apps for Apple products were originally due to be made available in April 2010. They are already available outside of the UK, though launch here was delayed while the BBC Trust explored the commercial significance of the deal.

BBC will introduce other apps later this year, including apps for iPlayer and BBC Sport. In future, we can expect apps for Android and other smartphone platforms to appear.

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.”

According to the report commissioned by the Trust.

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