CNN Launches International iPhone App

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.