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BBC figures show popularity of iPlayer viewing via iPhone and PS3

LONDON - Almost as many people are accessing television via their iPhone or PlayStation 3 as via a Mac computer, BBC data has revealed.

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The vast majority of television requests came from PCs, with 76% of television watched in this way during October.

But the BBC figures showed that 7% was requested from an iPhone or an iTouch device, compared with 7% from a Mac and 6% from a PlayStation 3. The remaining 2% was via Wii or other mobile devices.

The figures do not separate out people watching on the Virgin Media iPlayer interface. For September, however, the BBC said that 26% of iPlayer television programmes were watched via Virgin Media, which allows viewers to play shows on their normal television set.

The figures showed that October was a record month for the iPlayer, with 53.2 million requests for TV programmes, the highest figure to date. Radio requests remained steady at 26.1 million.

Release of the figures has led to rumours that the BBC is developing an iPlayer application for the iPhone. The internet is rife with stories after a mock up of what the app might look like featured in the presentation.

Tech website electricpig.co.uk was first to report on the picture, showing the iPlayer application being used on an iPhone with a WiFi connection.

A spokesman for the BBC said that the image was only a mock up and was not intended for external usage.

Owners of iPhones have been able to use iPlayer by visiting the site via internet browser since the summer of 2008, though it only works via Wifi and not through a 3G connection, while in June this year an iPlayer app was introduced for a range of Nokia smartphones.

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