Guardian adopts new fee-based subscription model for iPhone

Following news of Apple’s dictat to publishers that they cannot offer content for free to existing subscribers via iPhone apps, the UK’s Guardian newspaper has moved to a subscription basis for its app.

“Since launching in December 2009, the app has seen over 200,000 downloads, received one of the highest App Store ratings for any news app and dominated the news category, both in the UK and in many countries beyond,” the newspaper writes, describing positive reactions and strong reader retention for the app, which had cost £2.39 at the beginning.

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The app now costs £2.99 for 6 months and £3.99 for 12 months, and contains a host of new features. Users of the existing app needn’t worry — this will work for another six month.

The new charges don’t apply to US readers: in an attempt to broaden its US audience the newspaper is offeirng the new app as a free download, subsidized by ads.

New features include:

  • Faster, automatic updates for our live news and sport blogs – no need to refresh
  • A new football scores service with free goal alerts by team and match for the main UK leagues and European competitions
  • Video content is included for the first time, and looks great whether you’re connected via 3G or Wi-Fi
  • You’ll see reader comments below articles that are open to them
  • A brand new homepage design – look out for the multimedia carousel – and a new treatment for live blogs
  • A new way to view the stories trending across and social media
  • Use the app in portrait or landscape mode
  • New search tool

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