BBC’s iPlayer App Relaunches at BlackBerry App World—BB OS 6 Support Added

BBC has decided to relaunch its popular iPlayer app on the redesigned BlackBerry App World. Now BlackBerry OS 6 is supported (the Torch 9800, Style 9670, Bold 9780, etc). Why is BBC relaunching this UK only app? Well the old version just launched a mobile version of BBC’s website and only worked with the Storm 2 and Bold 9700.

While this app is still only available in the UK, it does bring hope to the promise of free, streaming television on our smartphones. Most everyone has plans to offer their mobile streaming at a fee even though their own websites offer the same content for free on desktops. Hulu is infamously blocking mobile devices and forcing people to buy a Hulu+ subscription. Oh, and they are still putting advertisements in even when you are a paying subscriber.

BBC’s app on the other hand is completely free. Free to down and free to use. Through it, you can view the last seven days of BBC programming and watch live BBC TV and radio. Now we just need broadcast companies in the US to start doing this. How would you feel about a mobile app that let you watch NBC whenever you wanted? Right now, iPlayer is only working over 3G on two UK carriers but eventually it should be available on all of them. Wi-Fi works in a pinch of course and saves a bunch on data charges.

Right now the smartphone TV market is splintered. We need a company to come in and partner with multiple networks to force them to offer some type of bundled app/subscription deal. Who really wants to have to use a different app for every channel they watch? Once the technology (LTE is going to be essential) for everyone to use their smartphone as a mobile TV no matter where they are is ready, expect the market to explode. Unfortunately, everyone is getting their ducks in a row right now and squabbling over licensing fees and how to split ad revenue.

Wish BBC’s iPlayer was available for use here in the US? Glad to see that the BlackBerry still is getting some of the best stuff? Hoping for a white knight to save us from all of the streaming media mayhem? Our smartphones are eventually going to replace our cable and satellite boxes so get ready for the next era.

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