Under pressure, the BBC Trust has put new BBC applications for the iPhone on hold over fears they could undermine commercial rivals.

The BBC News and BBC Sport applications were due to hit Apple's App Store over the next couple of months, and the licence-fee-funded broadcaster was also working on an iPhone version of its iPlayer app.

When the BBC announced plans for the applications, it said they were not new content services and therefore didn't need to be regulated.

However, the BBC Trust, which is the governing body of the BBC, appears to have stepped in following concerns from the Newspapers Publishers Association (NPA), which earlier this month warned that the free BBC apps would damage other app developers' ability to sell similar service for smartphones.

"It is vital that these proposals are scrutinised properly to avoid any adverse impact on commercial media organisations," said David Newell, director of the NPA.

"We are pleased that the BBC Trust has listened to the industry's concerns and acted to delay the planned April launch. We hope this will enable a thorough assessment to be undertaken."

The amount of free content the BBC provides online has already provided a headache for online publishers. Earlier this month, the BBC said it would cut down its number of websites to reduce costs and ease pressure on commercial rivals.

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