CNN Launches International iPhone App

CNNApp072210.bmp CNN, which released a slick paid iPhone application last year, is taking the product international… and making it free. The news organization is releasing an international version of the CNN App for users that live outside of the United States.

Unlike the domestic version, which costs $1.99 and has advertising, the international app will be free and ad supported.

It will also take advantage of the recently launched iOS4 platform, with push notifications and enhanced personalization abilities.

Making the app free is a peculiar decision for CNN, considering it was so strongly defending the decision to charge for its U.S. app.

So why do it? The costs of developing the international app were likely far below the domestic one, seeing as CNN could essentially take what it already built, only having tweak it slightly for international users.

In addition, while CNN is a big name for news here, in many parts of the world it is not the go-to source for news and information. Going free can also serve to promote and sample content for viewers that may not otherwise be too familiar with CNN as a brand.

Update: A spokesperson for CNN says that one of the biggest factors that came into play when determining the price wass the domestic application’s live video-streaming capability. The international version does not stream live video.

“CNN’s new app will offer our international audience a fantastic mobile experience for iPhone and iPod touch, delivering unique features and a user-friendly design,” said Louis Gump, vice president of Mobile at CNN. “Simply put, this is CNN’s world-class news in a world-class app. CNN is completely dedicated to meeting the needs of consumers and this app is an important contribution to that effort.”

The press release is after the jump.

CNN Launches International News App for iPhone and iPod touch on App Store

Interactive App Features Ability to Follow News by Topic, Upload iReports and Watch Video

Following the launch of CNN’s acclaimed app for the iPhone and iPod touch in the United States last year, CNN today announced the availability of the international version of the CNN App on the App Store. Available free of charge to users outside of the U.S., the international version of the CNN App is purpose-built and designed to provide a visually-driven news experience for iPhone and iPod touch users who demand accessibility and convenience.

“CNN’s new app will offer our international audience a fantastic mobile experience for iPhone and iPod touch, delivering unique features and a user-friendly design,” said Louis Gump, vice president of Mobile at CNN. “Simply put, this is CNN’s world-class news in a world-class app. CNN is completely dedicated to meeting the needs of consumers and this app is an important contribution to that effort.”

Maximising the revolutionary features of iOS 4, the CNN App features push notification; regionalisation and personalisationtools; and more. The CNN app showcases important global news through text, video and photos, and also includes user-generated content capture and upload functionality through iReport, CNN’s user-generated news community.

“Our users, including many business travelers, understand that the world is a highly connected place,” said Nick Wrenn, vice president of digital services for CNN International. “Our aim with the CNN App is to serve their mobile needs, putting relevant news, analysis and video right at their fingertips in a form that is both personally relevant and easy to use.”

CNN App Features include:

“My CNN” Personalisation

– Ability to “follow” a story or topic: As CNN publishes new stories and developments related to topics designated by the user, the app will automatically alert the user by pushing a notification to the device.

– “Saved” content functionality gives users access to text stories that interest them anytime, anywhere – even when they’re offline.

– Regionally-targeted news based on the user’s selection of content from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America or the Middle East.

iReport

– Provides a direct gateway to CNN’s user-generated news community, iReport.

– Lets users browse user-generated content; register, sign-in to their account or sign on as a guest to capture and instantly upload user-generated photos and videos (with the iPhone 3GS and above).

– Users can also browse iReport’s latest “assignments,” asking the community to weigh in on various news stories.

Latest Headlines

– Easy to navigate: Users can easily flick through news stories across categories including Top Stories, U.S., Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, Middle East, Business, Sport, Entertainment, Tech and Travel.

– Easy to consume: Each story features bulleted highlights above the full article, designed to satisfy mobile “snackers,” allowing them to easily scan through the latest stories.

– Easy to share: Users can share stories via email, Twitter and Facebook directly from the CNN App.

– Easy to view: White text on black background provides excellent viewing experience

Video on-demand: The App provides access to an extensive selection of on-demand video clips across many categories, including World, Most Popular, Sport, Business, U.S., Entertainment, Tech and CNN en Español.

The CNN App is available for free from the App Store on iPhone and iPod touch or at http://itunes.com/apps. For more information about the CNN App, go to www.cnn.com/mobile.

Launch advertiser Suzlon, a leading wind power company, will be featured in the international CNN App with banner ads.

CNN Worldwide, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner Company, is the most trusted source for news and information. Its reach extends to nine cable and satellite television networks; one private place-based network; two radio networks; wireless devices around the world; CNN Digital Network, the No. 1 network of news Web sites in the United States; CNN Newsource, the world’s most extensively syndicated news service; and strategic international partnerships within both television and the digital media.