The Apple Tablet, Print Media, and the Future

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McGraw-Hill Takes the Plunge with Apple's Tablet

The New York Times’ Brad Stone and Stephanie Clifford talked about how Apple may be giving the print media industry (including, ironically, the NYT itself) a chance to re-invent itself using the new device.  The iPhone is already popular enough to be one of the leading ways that many access their print media, especially news, and the upcoming tablet–expected to be announced tomorrow–is poised to be even more popular.

The problem is that given Apple’s past performance with media, specifically music, the publishers of print media may not like what they’ll have to give up in order to work with Apple.  With iTunes, the music industry had to make deep concessions about their products and bend to the controlling will of Steve Jobs.  Many in the industry continue to be unhappy about their relationship with iTunes and see it as a necessary evil until something better comes along to replace it.

Their relationship with Google and YouTube, however, seems to be quite the opposite.  Print media, already operating on relatively low margins of profit, may find that the concessions required by Jobs and iTunes to “get on board” may be too deep.

In an interview with Andreas Haas, CEO of Axiotron, PC Magazine talked about the former top executive with Apple’s European division about the imminent Apple tablet device and what he thought it would be.  Haas seems to think it will be a more powerful, larger, and more useful iPhone or iPod Touch device with the ability to be a true portable mini-computer beyond what today’s smart phones and PDAs are capable of.  It will not, however, be a true tablet (which he says is designated by being able to write on the screen).

It’s expected that Apple will announce the tablet (or a similar device) tomorrow at a scheduled press conference.  The question is: will the new device be just another iPhone or will it truly be another revolution in portable computing?


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