The Associated Press – one of world’s largest news wires – will launch a service on Monday that brings local news stories to your phone. AP teamed up with 100 newspapers to update readers about the latest developments in their local area by using ZIP/ postal codes. The PR circus is focused on the iPhone, as AP and Apple also took care of an iPhone-optimized widget (see iphone.com/webapps).
“We are excited to offer the first comprehensive mobile news web app and to have been selected by Apple as a Staff Pick. With a new generation of mobile devices on the market, like the iPhone, the time is right for AP to introduce a product that brings together our members’ local news brands with AP’s unrivaled coverage of international and national events,” said Jane Seagrave, AP’s senior vice president of global product development in a statement.
At first you might think, “what else is new?”. Yet existing services like Google Mobile News don’t offer you local stories in such a sophisticated way. And they weren’t smart enough to jump on the iPhone-means-free-publicity train.
Earlier today I wrote a story about the rise of mobile TV. I noted that other news services make 100-second news broadcasts on a phone quite useless. Well… AP just announced another one.