Sports Illustrated launches swimsuit app for iPhone

LONDON - Sports Illustrated has launched a paid-for iPhone application offering pictures and videos from its famed yearly swimsuit issue, and only available to those over the age of 17, which is being described as the sexiest iPhone app to date.

The Time Warner-owned US magazine is charging $2.99 (£1.83) for the app, which will also be available on the Blackberry soon.

It gives access to pictures and videos of the 20 models (14.95 cents per model) featured in this year's swimsuit issue and combines that content with a calendar application.

Users can match any model to any month and also get the schedule of their favourite sports team displayed on the calendar.

The iPhone app could be a real winner for Sports Illustrated. The magazine has a weekly circulation of around 3m and is read by around 20m adults per week.

Its swimsuit issue is a US institution, but Time Warner does not charge for access to its online manifestation.

The iPhone app raises hopes that print publishers can take better advantage of the second wave of electronic distribution represented by mobile devices.

If 1% of Sports Illustrated's reported readership paid for the app, Time Warner would net $418,600 each year.



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