Guardian iPhone app re-raises paywall argument

The Guardian enters the world of the iPhone app
The Guardian enters the world of the iPhone app

The Guardian has released an application for the iPhone which aggregates its content for your mobile screen.

While it costs £2.39 to download, users will still be getting the same content found on the website - which can be easily seen using the iPhone's web browser for free.

Of course the Guardian app, which was developed by 2ergo, does package things a lot more neatly, and offers them for free once the app has been bought (for not much more than the cost of a Sunday newspaper).

But that doesn't mean the Guardian won't be charging in the future - on its FAQ it says that it only intends to keep core news free:

"At the moment you can use the app to read or listen to as much Guardian content as you like at no extra cost.

Core service

"We are committing to offering a core level of service for the one-off charge but that doesn't rule out the possibility of charging for extra functionality at some point in the future."

The cost involved was also explained by Mobile Product Manager Jonathon Moore:

"At an early stage we decided to set the bar high, which hopefully means the app has been planned, designed, tested and developed to offer a truly engaging experience," he said.

"The investment involved in this requires us to ask a small fee in return."

Although it's only a one-off cost, it does raise the spectre of paywalls for content once again - especially if the Guardian does go ahead and charge for additional content in the future.

Via the BBC

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.