By the time you picked up the paper to read this article, the newspaper and magazine industry has drastically changed. With Apple’s introduction of the tablet this morning, they have made a move that continues to push the print industry into a more digital form of media.
Apple’s tablet is essentially a combination of the iPhone and Amazon’s Kindle, where readers can buy and view textbooks in a small, tablet-sized e-Reader. The Apple tablet would be taking the features of the Kindle to combine them with those of the iPhone to create an even more user-friendly and technologically improved product.
The Apple tablet has been a long rumored idea of Apple. This week, Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO, has been rumored to say that this will be the most important thing he has ever done, according to Macrumors.com.
Up to this point, there have been all kinds of speculations about what the tablet would contain as far as the specs of the device. In one article from The New York Times, it’s suggested that the device will have some of the following: a multi-touch interface (like what the iPhone uses), a more robust version of the iPhone’s operating system, a 10-inch screen with a black bezel, 3G and Wi-Fi capabilities as well. Others have speculated that the tablet will contain an SD card slot as well other features and even a front facing camera, and even include a stylus with handwriting recognition.
The tablet does not signify an end to newspapers or magazines; rather it is seen as something that will actually benefit an industry which has been suffering from decreased readership and profit. It simply continues the revolution of print news and media into a digital and online system, where readers are able to access content immediately and continuously as soon as news breaks.
For one, some of the biggest magazine companies see this as a way to regain some of their revenue. Due partly to the declining economy and partly to the advancement of online news media, magazine subscriptions fell to an all-time low and many were forced to close as a result. Newspapers experienced much of the same, and there’s been much debate about how the industry will (if ever) recover.
But by taking advantage of the new tablet, these companies will be able to regain readership and revenue by charging subscriptions to the content that can be accessed on the tablet. The New York Times article states that Hearst, Condé Nast and Time have all created mock-ups of some of their magazines as they would potentially appear on a device like the tablet. Not only that, but it will be much easier to carry around and read all of your favorite magazines and newspapers at the same time. It’s easy to see the advantages of a device, and if the success of the Kindle (with e-books and textbooks) is any measure of how the tablet will fare, the outlook is good.
Magazines and newspapers are not disappearing with the arrival of the tablet by any means. Instead, it is helping to resurrect the industry by giving magazines and newspapers a (profitable) way to make the switch from print to online. The tablet will be key in adapting to this evolution of online media, while incorporating the ease of receiving news instantaneously for all readers.