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The iPhone apps promised by the BBC earlier in the year are now being held back from release while the BBC Trust takes time to look over the business implications of the launch.

The BBC had hoped to get the apps out by April and had not planned to charge for them, but has faced criticism from its competitors concerned that paid-for news app providers would be put at a disadvantage.

Commercial newspapers including the Daily Telegraph and the Guardian already have successful iPhone apps which are free to download and use.

A spokesperson for the BBC Trust said that "representations from industry" had caused the corporation to take a closer look at the potential impact of the BBC apps.

They added: "We are focussed on making BBC Online's core web propositions more user-friendly, convenient and accessible and using existing content to create truly distinctive products around our core public service areas."

An investigating group now aims to determine whether the apps will be seen as a brand new product, or an extension of the BBC's existing services.

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