The BBC slammed the
fragmentation of the applications market this week, as it revealed plans to launch several new mobile
The new mobile apps will
carry news, sport and TV content. The BBC News app will be launched in April
and will be available initially as an iPhone app.
Announcing the BBC’s plans
at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona
this week the BBC’s future media and technology director Erik Huggers criticized
the mobile industry’s failure to harmonise its devices.
He said: ‘As a broadcaster
we’re used to broadcasting once and the receivers just work…Why should we have
to reformat our apps for every device?’
Industry analyst Tony
Cripps of Ovum said the industry needed to heed the BBC’s concerns, warning
that device fragmentation is becoming a major obstacle to increased growth.
He added: ‘Even big content
providers such as the BBC have financial constraints that will prevent them
being able to reach all consumers equally. The cost of application development,
porting, and maintenance is not trivial.
'The end result is that
content providers will naturally come to favor some platforms over others,
based on a combination of installed base, demographics of users on particular
platforms, “feel good factor”, and other variables.
'Until a common
cross-platform application environment for devices becomes a reality, the
entire value system around mobile content will suffer.’
The BBC News app will access to all the broadcaster’s breaking news stories, features and analysis. It will also provide some live and on-demand audio and video material.
The app will be available on the iPhone and iPod Touch first with Blackberry and Android operating systems following later in the year.
The BBC Sports app will launch in May in time for the World Cup tournament in June.
Football fans will be able to watch live coverage from games with on-demand clips available.
Content from BBC Radio 5 Live, including live commentary, will also be available.
The BBC Formula 1 coverage will also become available later this year.