On the 14th December last year, The Guardian Newspaper launched an iPhone App offering users full access to all Guardian content through the convenience of their iPhone; including news, comments, features, photo galleries and audio. There was never a question that this was a smart move by The Guardian, what was a question for many people was the fact that The Guardian were not going to offer the App for free. It would be paid for. Admittedly this is not a unique situation for a news provider; BBC World News Live, BBC News Mobile, iCNN News Reader and even the Irish Independent and Irish Breaking News, all offer iPhone Apps that are paid for. However, it's also worth noting that Sky News, ITN News, Thomson Reuters News and The New York Times, all offer their Apps for free.
Was it the right move?
In short, yes it was very definitely the right move for The Guardian.
Since its launch, The Guardian iPhone App has been downloaded nearly 70,000 times. That's over 2,300 times a day, every day! That's extremely impressive for a paid App.
Emily Bell, Director of Digital Content, Guardian News & Media, said: "We are thrilled with our download figures for the first month of the app. The feedback we have received from users has been excellent, yet also extremely informative in terms of features and functionality that can be improved in the future. Over the Christmas break the app became available in many areas of mainland Europe, as well as in Canada and Australia for the first time, so we hope our global audiences will enjoy using the app as well."
The App was designed by The Guardian's in-house team and then built by 2ergo. It is available for the iPhone and iPod Touch. It is available for £2.39 and can be accessed by users in the following countries:
Finland, Latvia, Romania, Austria, France, Lithuania, Slovakia, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, Slovenia, Greece, Malta (Republic of), Spain, Czech Republic, Hungary, Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Poland, Estonia, Italy, Portugal, Australia & Canada, UK, Ireland, US.
The App is available for download here, and the following video demonstrates all the App's features...