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BBC clambers onto iPhone bandwagon

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MWC The BBC has announced it will be launching iPhone applications for News and Sports results, with other platforms to follow.

The applications, which were announced today in Barcelona, will be available for the iPhone in April with the other smart phone platforms to follow over the next few months.

The News application, which was demonstrated at the show, allows the user to scroll around news headlines - each of which is accompanied by a picture - and then drop into a story which may, or may not, contain video content.

The Sports Results app wasn't demonstrated, but Erik Huggers, Director of the BBC's Future Media & Technology, told the assembled delegates that users would be able to customise the application to show their preferred sports, and teams.

When it comes to the iPlayer, which is already available on more than a few mobile platforms, there will be a new application for those who want to catch up on their TV without having to switch on the TV.

Apparently the BBC now divides its viewers into four categories: Mobile First (aged 30-40), Social Animals (18-30), Mobile Lifestyle (25-40) and the Addicted (30-40). The more-observant reader will have noticed that those groups don't include those over 40 - if you're in to your fifth decade then the BBC isn't really interested in you.

When he wasn't cutting half the audience out of his target demographics Mr. Huggers did rail against the multiplicity of platforms the BBC has to support these days, promising that the new applications would be available fro Android, Windows Phone, Symbian and so forth.

But without apparently noticing that HTML could (and does) provide provide a standard platform which works tolerably on the majority of handsets - but web sites, even mobile ones, aren't nearly as cool as iPhone applications, and the BBC needs to be cool if it's going to appeal to that youth demographic it's targeting. ®

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