Cringely: Apple and the future of publishing – part one

“It’s not that hard to predict what will happen in the future… but it is very hard to predict with any accuracy when things will happen,” Bob Cringely writes for I, Cringely.

“For technologies, I tend to see events happening long before they actually do, which makes me something of a prophet, though a pretty useless one,” Cringely writes. “This may be proved yet again in the coming months as Apple and other companies attempt to take most of the paper out of publishing, something I thought we were about to do 15 years ago, but didn’t.”

“The rumor this week is that Apple’s long awaited tablet computer is some form of electronic reader and that Apple intends to get into the distribution of content for this new platform, just as it earlier did for the music, TV and movie businesses with the iPod and iTunes,” Cringely writes.

“I have no inside knowledge about Apple’s plans, but as one of the guys who came up with the whole electronic publication idea, I think I’m in a position to put it in perspective,” Cringely writes.

“Technology is the least of this. Yes, we need an electronic medium that is price-competitive with what it replaces, but it doesn’t take an Apple per se to do that,” Cringely writes. “The much harder parts are the business model and the mojo.”

Full article here.


  1. Well it will take Apple Mojo to make publishers move to a new business model. Apple now has a proven track record in this and the publishing industry as a whole knows that if Apple can’t do it no one can but, if Apple can make it work then other’s will copy it and then industry will live on for a while longer any way.

  2. MDN is slipping. Given Cringely’s history this was just begging… absolutely BEGGING for a nicely barbed MDN take.
    I wouldn’t presume to attempt my own but was a little disappointed when I got to the bottom of the story and found no take.

  3. Cringely has obviously failed to do any research into his story. Will text-based media become more prevalent? Probably. Will it remove paper from the publishing business? Absolutely not.

    Readability and resolution is too low, even at 1080 dpi. Several studies have been conducted that paper is much easier and faster to read than anything on-screen, by a factor of 3.

    Schools with laptop programs are struggling for this very reason, despite the heavy financial and infrastructure investment. Many are dropping the program and moving back to books. Those who have found some success still have books on campus, due to those that refuse to struggle with on-screen reading.

    Even with special fonts created for on-screen (or web) based reading, the difficult is still significant enough to not see Cringely’s idiocy come true.

  4. I made a prediction once. Sure enough, when I got home and checked in my pants there was indeed a surprise waiting for me! ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  5. I predict that in thousands of years, after a great nuclear war, the world will be ruled by talking apes, and humans will be nothing more than mute animals for the apes fiendish medical experiments…

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