Sources close too XXL BBQ have reported that ESPN will launch three true iPhone apps as early as June 1. So far, ESPN's iPhone presence has consisted mostly of the iPhone-friendly ESPN Mobile Web where users can follow scores, gamecasts, news, and their fantasy teams (ESPN leagues only). ESPN did launch an actual iPhone app (three versions) which is simply a Photo-Hunt-style game called ESPN Cameraman where players try to identify the differences between two sports-related photographs.
Despite the solid design and usability of the ESPN Mobile Web site, it is simply not as robust an experience as could easily be provided with a locally-running application and many have been wondering why the "worldwide leader in sports" does not yet have an official app for scores and stats. It now appears that this is because the agreement to provide ESPNMVP for Verizon users includes an exclusivity clause which prevents ESPN from creating mobile applications for use with other carriers. It also appears that this exclusivity agreement is about to expire, possibly as early as May 31.
The three applications in development/set for launch were described as follows:
Scoreboard app -- Customizable scoreboard allowing you to follow a specific set of teams/games.
Fantasy app -- Track your fantasy teams.
Fan Locator app -- Find and connect with nearby fans of your team.
Sounds like the apps will be free upon release and although the core stuff like scores, stats and gamecasts is already part of ESPN Mobile Web, I'm sure there will be some bells and whistles not possible with the current mobile site. Also, the ability to locate and avoid Ohio State fans is a service for which we will all be forever grateful.