Can Apple’s tablet save publishing?

New Parallels Desktop 5 for Mac. $15 discount!“Nowhere is next week’s launch by Apple of its new tablet device more breathlessly awaited than in the executive offices of traditional publishing houses. For the tablet – or the iSlate or the iPad as it may become known – is regarded as a possible saviour for newspapers, magazines and textbooks,” Ian Burrell reports for The Independent.

“There are electronic reading devices in existence already, such as Sony’s e-Reader and Amazon’s Kindle. But, publishers hope the unquestioned design talents of Apple will ensure that its latest product is the vehicle that enables them to transform their business models,” Burrell reports. “After all, the iPod has converted millions to the idea of paying to download songs and, to a degree, has revived the music industry, becoming the world’s largest music retailer in the process. The iPhone has created a culture of acquiring apps for ‘just about anything,’ many of them paid for.”

Burrell reports, “Newspaper content is already being widely consumed on smart mobile phones but mostly for free. With a touch screen of 10-11 inches, the Apple tablet presents publishers of all kinds with the opportunity to create an entirely new reader experience, one that consumers might be persuaded to pay for.”

“Jobs and his team are in talks with Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, the New York Times Co. and magazine publishers such as Conde Nast and television networks including CBS and Disney,” Burrell reports. “The New York Times this week announced that it would be demanding payment for access to its website and industry observers say that the newspaper publisher is discussing with Apple whether it could begin charging for news through iTunes.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]


  1. Great news but no webcam, no sale. I will not settle for watered-down 1st gen products ever again after the 1st-gen iPhone fiasco which dropped $200 in 2 months and lacked GPS and 3G to give it room to grow. If I can’t video chat with loved ones out of the box, I’ll wait for Act 2 no matter how much it kills me!

  2. My opinion,in my opinion the tablet from apple could be a on-the-moment publishing and reading device with computer capabilities that can bring things in a new way that journalists work today or writers wrote a book and that its a good feature for such device,its only my opinion.

  3. and we were all up in arms, when the murdochs started sueing the Australian Broadcast Corp because it handed out free news. Trying to tell us that taxpayers ought to have funds given to them for more quality news and plus that we have to pay on top on what we already pay as tax payers.

  4. Publishing doesn’t need saving! It’s not going anywhere, it’s changing, evolving into digital, the problem is that the same “older” people who run newspapers, etc, don’t know how to or are unwilling to change. If this iPad/iTablet/iSlate is true, then I expect the device to be a reader, with a bit of computer power, it doesn’t have to do everything. Thats what the laptop or desktop is for, sure the iPhone does do a lot but at the end of the day it doesn’t do everything… what Apple is doing is creating a system to have less devices, & have everything easy to use and to talk to. This new device will change publishing in one way, the content/design will stay the same, pretty much, the delivering will be digital and you will have to pay! Content should not & never be free! If ya think it does, then why don’t ya go tell ya boss ya will work for free!

    nuff said.

  5. The next generation of adults has grown up on Video games, DVR’s, and YouTube… with a need for instant gratification and the ability to sit back, watch and enjoy. I’ll be among the first in line to buy an iTablet, but I don’t think it or anything else will “save publishing”. Reading takes too much effort to today’s kids. It’s analagous to saying that Gold’s Gym is coming out with a new type of treadmill/stairclimber/bike that will get American’s back into shape… it’s just not about the device.

  6. I think the absolute KEY thing Apple has — that no one else does — is a huge list (I believe Jobs said 100 million?) of buyers WITH credit card numbers (ie, iTunes accounts).

    There’s a saying among entrepreneurs: “You can take away my entire business, but if I still have my customer list, I’ll be back in no time.”

    That LIST is why the Tablet can gain traction. It’s why publishers will do the work to port their content, it’s why that content will GO somewhere… Unlike, say, with the JooJoo.

    As long as Apple has this great relationship with a huge number of media buyers (through iTunes), they have a platform that can’t easily be replicated.

    My only concern is that the tablet will be too expensive to encourage massive adoption, or will require a second cellular bill, UG.

  7. The initial price will drop over time, hopefully not as quick as the original iPhone. Early adopters will buy the device anyway and the masses will come in after the price drop.

  8. Strictly speaking, to “save publishing” means to allow it to continue functioning as it has in the past. From this perspective, nobody and nothing can save publishing. Publishing must change, which means that publishing as we know it must die.

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