The Associated Press said today it will start helping publishers build mobile apps for a wide variety for platforms, including Android, BlackBerry, iPhone, Nokia (NYSE: NOK), Palm (NSDQ: PALM) Pre and Windows Mobile. The white-label solution was developed by Verve Wireless, which built the AP Mobile platform. Release.
The offer is designed to be less expensive and faster for publications, which typically don’t have the resources to build their own smartphone apps. Still, it won’t come free. Verve will take a cut of any of the advertising revenues, a Verve spokesman said. (Update: Verve will not charge for the apps, as a spokesman previous said, rather there will be a minimum amount of advertising revenue required in order to maintain the applications.)
The announcement marks a shift in Verve’s primary business, which up until now has focused on building mobile web sites for newspapers, like the Sacramento Bee, The News & Observer and The Miami Herald. AP, which is an investor in Verve, is offering the white-label service as a benefit to members. Members will be able to add AP content to the app if they wish. The first apps are expected to roll out next month (The picture on the left provides a mock-up of what the apps may look like.)
The Associated Press also announced today that it is launching AP Mobile América Latina, which offers Latin American news sources to reach consumers through AP Mobile en Español and AP Mobile América Latina. AP Mobile en Español is available in the U.S., and AP Mobile América Latina caters to Latin American consumers, offering regional, national and world news from AP and more local Latin American and Caribbean news from participating news providers.