The BBC iPlayer apps for the iPhone and iPad are "nearing a release" according to a report by Paid Content.

The iOS apps, which will replace the browser / video player workaround that is currently in place, will apparently hit the App Store before the BBC's director of future media and technology, David Huggers, leaves the Beeb for his new post at Intel.

Back in July, when the BBC launched its News apps for iDevices, Huggers outlined the importance of mobile devices to the organisation. 

"We know that increasing numbers of you want to access BBC output on-the-go and the rapid growth of internet-connected mobiles and smartphones in the market means we can cost-effectively provide our content and services on these devices, and this is a really important way for us to deliver online services in the future", he said.

The BBC recently posted details about record viewing numbers of its iPlayer platform with millions of Brits tuning into the on-demand service over Christmas.  

There was a total of 145 million requests for TV and radio programmes on the iPlayer in December 2010, the third month in a row that the VOD service broke its total number of requests record. Year-on-year, this was an increase of 27 per cent.