Apple Computer, Inc. and MLB Advanced Media will be releasing an MLB.com widget for iPhone to coincide with the release of the new iPhone 3G slated to hit stores on July 11.
The app called MLB At Bat was introduced on Monday at Apple‚Äôs ¬†WWDC keynote on Monday in San Francisco. As reported by MLB.com:
Jeremy Schoenherr and Rob Spychala, technical architects for MLB.com Mobile, played a role in that demonstration on the stage by unveiling the app. Images were carried on wire stories all over the Internet, showing how the national pastime once again will reach into another massive space in the population.
"It's a good example of the popularity of baseball," Adam Ritter, MLBAM's vice president of wireless, said from the event. "MLB At Bat will constantly update all the data of each game. You not only get to see all the data, but a couple of minutes after that, you get to see the play that put your team ahead or that great defensive play.
"It's going to be very exciting as a fan. You're going to get video and highlights in an application and see your favorite Major League players. You start with the quality of the content, and then consider the device itself, the screen resolution, the fact that it's twice as fast and will connect on wi-fi -- it just looks beautiful."
With the new iPhone being introduced to 70 countries worldwide, MLB sees the application development as a way to reach a larger global market.
"What's also significant about the announcement is that this app will be available to baseball fans with iPhones regardless of where they are geographically," Ritter said. "This will be a worldphone, and that means baseball will be available to more fans around the world. Baseball fans with iPhones will be able to enjoy this app whether they are in the U.S., Canada, Latin America or Japan.
"Right now, every time we sell something, we have to have one-off relationships with carriers for their distribution. From what was announced [Monday], that distribution point is the application store. That affords fans the capability to get this application and distribution that we're not used to seeing with mobile devices."
The Business of Sports Network is awaiting word to see if the new MLB.com software will be made available to all current iPhone users via the 2.0 software upgrade coming shortly or remain exclusive to the iPhone 3G release.¬†
UPDATE: MLBAM informs us that the new MLB.com At Bat application will be available in the new iPhone App Store when it launches, so it will be available for all iPhone devices, not just the new iPhone 3Gs. ¬†