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Apple contacted print publications about tablet - report

post #1 of 156
Thread Starter 
The focus of Apple's long-rumored tablet device could be the transformation of newspapers, magazines and other print media, a new rumor suggests.

With anonymous information from people within various facets of the publishing world, Gizmodo has said that Apple has been reaching out to print publications about putting their products for sale on iTunes via a new piece of hardware. The report cited people familiar with The New York Times, publishers McGraw Hill and Oberlin Press, and a trip that "several executives from one of the largest magazine groups" took to the company's Cupertino, Calif., headquarters.

Apple's tablet has been through a number of different iterations, and the project has been reset numerous times by company co-founder Steve Jobs. The report said that Jobs was presented with a tablet device that ran a modified version of OS X years ago, but the device was shelved because the company could not determine what use people would have for the hardware.

The focus of the hardware now is said to not be the playback of media, which the iPod and iPhone lines already handle well. Instead, Apple is reportedly working to have publishers place their print content on iTunes.

"The eventual goal is to have publishers create hybridized content that draws from audio, video, interactive graphics in books, magazines and newspapers, where paper layouts would be static," the report said. "And with release dates for Microsoft's Courier set to be quite far away and Kindle stuck with relatively static e-ink, it appears that Apple is moving towards a pole position in distribution of this next-generation print content. First, it'll get its feet wet with more basic repurposing of the stuff found on dead trees today."

Gizmodo also corroborates what sources have told AppleInsider -- that the device will debut in early 2010.

Two people from The New York Times were allegedly contacted by Apple in June about putting their product on a "new device." And McGraw Hilll and Oberlin Press are said to be working to put their textbooks on iTunes, possibly in a DRMed format that would allow use for a period of time. And magazine executives are alleged to have presented their ideas on the future of publishing on Apple's campus. Given the evidence, the report asserts that Apple is looking to go beyond e-readers, like Amazon's Kindle, to "redefine print."
post #2 of 156
If I were these companies, I'd be careful to cede so much control to one company, especially when your industry is failing. If this "Apple product" succeeds so much that it has no viable competition, then Apple can hold you by the balls.
post #3 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple's tablet has been through a number of different iterations, and the project has been reset numerous times by company co-founder Steve Jobs. The report said that Jobs was presented with a tablet device that ran a modified version of OS X years ago, but the device was shelved because the company could not determine what use people would have for the hardware.

I hate to say that such thinking is where the future lies, but so much garbage is dumped out there without so much as a *hint* of this kind of questioning. The fact so few companies even bother with this step is why s many cool, but eventually useless items leave their labs.

I think this is the best green thinking that any company can hope to achieve in its senior executives...to realease products that you intend to see becomes very successful, and that people have a use for. Bravo!

I know, I'd love to see my Newton come back too. I bought it when all I had was a 1000 bucks. Beautiful piece of hardware even if it wasn't a commercial success. However I have to bow to reasonable thinking if it means a long-awaited product comes along that I plan on using all the time. My iPhone has replaced every gadget I used to own for casual use - GPS, Photos, Cell phone, Day Planning (PDA), etc.

If Apple is making the same case for their netbook being a true reader I'm in! I'll have one small bag and two devices to replace every gizmo and book I can carry.
post #4 of 156
I believe a study said it was cheaper for the NYT to give each subscriber a Kindle and an e-subscription over a period of a year than to print and deliver a physical paper.

However don't underestimate the readability of the Kindle's ePaper display. Except in dark rooms, of course!

An Apple tablet targeted for magazines and papers could have a display optimised for low power consumption rather than quality, even if it stayed with being an LCD.
post #5 of 156
The end of traditional print media is inevitable. I would be most interested in digital subscriptions to my favorite newspapers and magazines.
post #6 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hattig View Post

I believe a study said it was cheaper for the NYT to give each subscriber a Kindle and an e-subscription over a period of a year than to print and deliver a physical paper.

However don't underestimate the readability of the Kindle's ePaper display. Except in dark rooms, of course!

An Apple tablet targeted for magazines and papers could have a display optimised for low power consumption rather than quality, even if it stayed with being an LCD.

ePaper is great...I like the readability and long battery life. Kindle lacks the interactivity option (you can't put notes into your text, which is important "feature" of plain paper and marker or pencil) and is too attached to Amazon's content (I'd like to be able to view my own PDF files, plus webpages).

It would be great to have a tablet as complimentary device to iPhone (connected through bluetooth), all the "brain" would be in the iPhone, tablet would serve as extra screen estate for iPhone..but I doubt this is going to happen.
post #7 of 156
Apart from media playback, and nice colors, I can't see what advantage this would have over an eBook, and therefore why it would be even near a succes.
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"There's no bigot like a religious bigot and there's no religion more fanatical than that espoused by Macintosh zealots." ~Martin Veitch, IT Week [31-01-2003]
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post #8 of 156
OMFG APPLE TABLET FTW - goodbye modbook - hello removable battery and good cpu itablet pro in production????
post #9 of 156
Students should be very leery of this type of service catching on. First, from what I have seen so far, e-textbooks don't cost significantly less, which is strange since they 1) have virtually no cost to make [most books are sent as PDFs to printers for printing], 2) usually expire, and 3) have no resale value.

For instance, I recently took a class. The e-text was $80 and the traditional text was $100. why would I pay $80 for an e-text book, when I could buy the new book at a $100? With the hundred dollar book, I can generally sell it for 40 to 60 percent of it's value when I am done whereas with the e-text you cannot.

I fear if these books catch on, budget conscious students will have no choice but to buy the much more costlier e-texts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

And McGraw Hilll and Oberlin Press are said to be working to put their textbooks on iTunes, possibly in a DRMed format that would allow use for a period of time.
post #10 of 156
It probably is nicer for reviewing color. E-Books have a much more paper like reading experience which is much easier on the eyes. It will be interesting to see if Apple tries to tackle that problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by T'hain Esh Kelch View Post

Apart from media playback, and nice colors, I can't see what advantage this would have over an eBook, and therefore why it would be even near a succes.
post #11 of 156
I read the NY times on line. I pay nothing for it directly. Indirectly I pay Time-Warner for broadband access.

When the NY times brought out their 'select' service a few years ago, I signed up and paid. At the time I felt that there was more than enough content in their paper that it was worth paying for. I still feel that way.

I subscribe to 2 magazines, 1 monthly and the other bi-monthly.

If these 3 publications were available to me on a portable apple device via a subscription service, I would be inclined to buy the device, subscribe to the publications and read the issues on the device.

I would be 'satisfied' with receiving my subscriptions via the itunes store similar to how I receive and load into my ipod the podcasts that i subscribe to now. I don't feel I would need cellular (3g) access. If I had 3g access, it would certainly be more convenient, as updates to my subscriptions (such as weblog comments, letters to the editor, breaking stories et al) would be available to me post itunes synch without connecting to the itunes store via my workstation. But I don't feel it would required for this device and service to be of value to me.

I read a ton of books each year, and since I work in a technical field, having reference books with me (and not have to carry bulky books would be convenient as well.

If this article is accurate, I see strong similarities between the strategy as presented and the history of itunes, ipods, digital music and music publishers.

I feel that subscribing to online content such as weblogs, as well as loading my own collection of static content( PDF's) into this device would be of value to me,

I see that apple could be leveraging their existing infrastructure and leveraging the consumer's familiarity with itunes and the synching process..

Clever on apples part....
post #12 of 156
At this point the newspaper industry is so scared of dying that anyone throwing out a life saver is looking good. The fact that it is Apple with such a good track record for getting things right, will overshadow the relinquishing of control of the market to Apple.

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post #13 of 156
Good now hurry up and make it, I have been putting off buying an e-reader for ages, and I defo need one for the 1st of january which is when I start a long vacation.

Chop chop Apple, if you dont mind, im waiting...
post #14 of 156
I might be willing to pay £3/$5 a month for access to a good quality 'paper' with video etc.
post #15 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

Students should be very leery of this type of service catching on. First, from what I have seen so far, e-textbooks don't cost significantly less, which is strange since they 1) have virtually no cost to make [most books are sent as PDFs to printers for printing], 2) usually expire, and 3) have no resale value.

For instance, I recently took a class. The e-text was $80 and the traditional text was $100. why would I pay $80 for an e-text book, when I could buy the new book at a $100? With the hundred dollar book, I can generally sell it for 40 to 60 percent of it's value when I am done whereas with the e-text you cannot.

I fear if these books catch on, budget conscious students will have no choice but to buy the much more costlier e-texts.

Well, that said, the traditional text books are a freakin rip off in their own right.
post #16 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by msantti View Post

Well, that said, the traditional text books are a freakin rip off in their own right.

Text books are so expensive because publishers have to pay rather obscene amounts to the authors to get them to write something. My advisor once received $5K for writing a 30 page book chapter... the book itself was about 10 chapters long and cost $130. Textbooks are even worse, but publishers know they'll sell more so they lower the price a bit. Ideally most professors would prepare their own class notes and distribute them for free like I had some of my undergrad and graduate professors do.

As for the tablet. I can't see Steve ever putting it out as an e-reader. That would be way too uni-purpose. The iPhone is a hit because it's more multi-purpose than any other phone out there. I could see this being sold with e-new/magazine subscriptions as a feature, but not as the focus.
post #17 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by msantti View Post

Well, that said, the traditional text books are a freakin rip off in their own right.

Should be a business opportunity in there, scanning and cleaning up existing texts and adding hyperlinks and active media - anyone interested?
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Where are we on the curve? We'll know once it goes asymptotic!
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post #18 of 156
This whole print thing will be 1 of the features, albeit a very nice sounding one.

Just as the iPhone was sold as 3 things in 1, this tablet will be marketed in a similar fashion, with print books and text books "done right" being one of them. It's high time kids didn't have to carry around all those heavy books. Pity their eyes though.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #19 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by T'hain Esh Kelch View Post

Apart from media playback, and nice colors, I can't see what advantage this would have over an eBook, and therefore why it would be even near a succes.

To be always in contact with the internet and thus always have up to date info and be able to watch and listen to streaming media could be somewhat of a plus maybe...
post #20 of 156
This sounds alot like Apple's concept tablet, Knowledge Navigator from the 1980's

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QRH8eimU_20
post #21 of 156
This will be irresistible to news publishers.
post #22 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by T'hain Esh Kelch View Post

Apart from media playback, and nice colors, I can't see what advantage this would have over an eBook, and therefore why it would be even near a succes.

Just cause you cannot see it doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #23 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by techno View Post

At this point the newspaper industry is so scared of dying that anyone throwing out a life saver is looking good. The fact that it is Apple with such a good track record for getting things right, will overshadow the relinquishing of control of the market to Apple.

So rather than die they sell their content through iTunes, make profit and live? I know which option sounds better to me.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #24 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by satchmo View Post

This sounds alot like Apple's concept tablet, Knowledge Navigator from the 1980's

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QRH8eimU_20

Actually it doesn't.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #25 of 156
No more stinky perfumey mags!!!!
post #26 of 156
Even though I'm a huge apple fan, I can't see this device become a success around the world if its basically a publication platform.
Simple reason?
Well apart from the US, and some countries, books are still pretty cheap in many parts of the world.
Here is India, you can get a dan brown hard bound book for $12, approx.
Soon, the paperback will be out and will sell for about 4-5 US dollars.
Why would anyone here pay for an expensive gadget, and buy expensive e-books.
its the same reason, the itunes store doesn't even operate in India. music cd's are cheaper.
The commercial world is just robbing you USA. watch out. They overcharge you for small things.
And make the expensive things feel cheaper, and just make you buy.
(reminds me so much of ratm!)
Anyway, it needs to do a lot more:
OK wishlist:
Music/Video (Of course)
Calender, Contacts (Of course)
Video Chat! (Seriously Apple, long overdue! even though it probably won't work on India's shitty net)
Publications (will at least work in the US) with extreme control... notes/ drawings anything!)
Should be awesome for artists, and photo editing (Why else is it a tablet??)
Internet/Safari (duh!)
Full fledged Iwork/ office application (cmon.. with support to save and open files.)
Accelerometer/ Gaming (cmon, its a cash cow! and you know it)
some basic video editing capability like imovie would be just awesome!! (trust me imagine a touchscreen imovie, it'll be awesome!)
Apps!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (just do it quick this time! I don't even think you need to make it run iPhone apps. Just let the developer make more apps for the device and they'll be happy to do so!)

Oh And please please : Multitasking!!! oh Please!


Put all this... (of course i'll let you go without the imovie thing) and I'll buy it for sure. Even though I don't have the money. Put all this and i'll sacrifice basic three meals for this device. Otherwise, just forget about it.
post #27 of 156
There are already a number of magazines that publish rich electronic versions.
Latitudes & Attitudes WARNING: Annoying music!

ZMags helps to publish the interactive electronic versions.

If Apple were to offer a similar service - or software to create such things - I suspect they'd use HTML5.

It sounds nice, but outside, sunlit viewing is going to be a killer. I don't see how Apple is going to overcome the display being impossible to read in bright ambient light. Maybe their market will be city-dwellers who spend their entire lives in buildings & subways.

Also, it's really hard to overcome the HUGE cost of a device like this vs individual newspapers or magazines. If I forget a magazine on the bus, I don't care. If I forget this fancy tablet thing, I'm very unhappy. Over the long run, the paper version may cost more, but the incremental cost & risk is much lower.

- Jasen.
post #28 of 156
We all need to take a step back and put down the kool-aid for a moment.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #29 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

Students should be very leery of this type of service catching on. First, from what I have seen so far, e-textbooks don't cost significantly less, which is strange since they 1) have virtually no cost to make [most books are sent as PDFs to printers for printing], 2) usually expire, and 3) have no resale value.

For instance, I recently took a class. The e-text was $80 and the traditional text was $100. why would I pay $80 for an e-text book, when I could buy the new book at a $100? With the hundred dollar book, I can generally sell it for 40 to 60 percent of it's value when I am done whereas with the e-text you cannot.

I fear if these books catch on, budget conscious students will have no choice but to buy the much more costlier e-texts.

To not have to carry it around. My 7th grader has to lug a 15 lb backpack.
post #30 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by naman34 View Post

Even though I'm a huge apple fan, I can't see this device become a success around the world if its basically a publication platform.
Simple reason?
Well apart from the US, and some countries, books are still pretty cheap in many parts of the world.
Here is India, you can get a dan brown hard bound book for $12, approx.
Soon, the paperback will be out and will sell for about 4-5 US dollars.
Why would anyone here pay for an expensive gadget, and buy expensive e-books.
its the same reason, the itunes store doesn't even operate in India. music cd's are cheaper.
The commercial world is just robbing you USA. watch out. They overcharge you for small things.
And make the expensive things feel cheaper, and just make you buy.
(reminds me so much of ratm!)
Anyway, it needs to do a lot more:
OK wishlist:
Music/Video (Of course)
Calender, Contacts (Of course)
Video Chat! (Seriously Apple, long overdue! even though it probably won't work on India's shitty net)
Publications (will at least work in the US) with extreme control... notes/ drawings anything!)
Should be awesome for artists, and photo editing (Why else is it a tablet??)
Internet/Safari (duh!)
Full fledged Iwork/ office application (cmon.. with support to save and open files.)
Accelerometer/ Gaming (cmon, its a cash cow! and you know it)
some basic video editing capability like imovie would be just awesome!! (trust me imagine a touchscreen imovie, it'll be awesome!)
Apps!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (just do it quick this time! I don't even think you need to make it run iPhone apps. Just let the developer make more apps for the device and they'll be happy to do so!)

Oh And please please : Multitasking!!! oh Please!


Put all this... (of course i'll let you go without the imovie thing) and I'll buy it for sure. Even though I don't have the money. Put all this and i'll sacrifice basic three meals for this device. Otherwise, just forget about it.

Stop the presses!!
When this technology takes over, no more cheap Dan B!!!!
post #31 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post

If I were these companies, I'd be careful to cede so much control to one company, especially when your industry is failing. If this "Apple product" succeeds so much that it has no viable competition, then Apple can hold you by the balls.

I agree with you.

It will also be hard for Apple to have better readability than my Kindle 2 e-ink. I love that device. If apple could get that problem under control so we all don't go blind by the age of 30, they may have something.

I wouldn't be worried too much right now if I were Amazon but I think I would be on alert.
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post #32 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by IQatEdo View Post

Should be a business opportunity in there, scanning and cleaning up existing texts and adding hyperlinks and active media - anyone interested?

Putting hyperlinks in e-textbooks would be a terrible idea. Even ones I come across in Internet articles were defunct a long time ago.

Quote:
Originally Posted by naman34 View Post

Even though I'm a huge apple fan, I can't see this device become a success around the world if its basically a publication platform.
Simple reason?
Well apart from the US, and some countries, books are still pretty cheap in many parts of the world.
Here is India, you can get a dan brown hard bound book for $12, approx.
Soon, the paperback will be out and will sell for about 4-5 US dollars.
Why would anyone here pay for an expensive gadget, and buy expensive e-books.
its the same reason, the itunes store doesn't even operate in India. music cd's are cheaper.
The commercial world is just robbing you USA. watch out. They overcharge you for small things.
And make the expensive things feel cheaper, and just make you buy.

You can buy books at those prices for bestsellers in England, America, anywhere. The point is this would be magazines and newpapers with a subscription. I don't doubt that a lot of things are cheaper in India, but as you point out the iTunes store isn't even available, which suggests that it's not a key target country for Apple.

And your argument about the 'commercial world robbing the USA' is invalid. The US may as well say the job market is robbing you because typical wages are lower in India. Prices (generally) correlate to where people are. Material goods are more expensive, but wages are higher.
post #33 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post

If I were these companies, I'd be careful to cede so much control to one company, especially when your industry is failing. If this "Apple product" succeeds so much that it has no viable competition, then Apple can hold you by the balls.

If I were these companies, in an industry which, as you say, is falling, I'd have to admit that my old business model doesn't work any more and I'd be more than willing to lose some control to align myself with somebody who has a proven track record at reviving and re-inventing stagnant media business models. After all, a little piece of success is worth more than a big piece of failure.
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Apple, bigger than Google, ..... bigger than Microsoft,   The universe is unfolding as it should. Thanks, Apple.
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post #34 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post

If I were these companies, I'd be careful to cede so much control to one company, especially when your industry is failing. If this "Apple product" succeeds so much that it has no viable competition, then Apple can hold you by the balls.

I take your point, but what choice do they have?
post #35 of 156
Quote:
Putting hyperlinks in e-textbooks would be a terrible idea. Even ones I come across in Internet articles were defunct a long time ago.

Uh...I'm pretty sure this person was referring to linking content WITHIN the e-text, not linking to external content on the web!


Quote:
hello removable battery and good cpu

Doubtful...Removable batteries seem to be the exact opposite direction that apple is moving. Considering the fact that the only current Apple product that has a removable battery is the polycarb MacBook (which is almost certain to lose it in the upcoming refresh), I would be shocked to see a removable battery in a new Apple device, especially one with the thin form-factor that would be used in a tablet.
post #36 of 156
Here in Australia, today, our largest national classifieds newspaper "The Trading Post" sent me an email saying they are stopping physical print resorting to online only. However part of their email I find most interesting. Emphasis mine.

"will help you continue to reach the right buyers at the right time whoever they are and on whatever device they are using, PC, laptop, phone and whatever else is next."

I got this today... And thought tablet whilst reading it.
post #37 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galley View Post

I would be most interested in digital subscriptions to my favorite newspapers and magazines.

But those won't exist anymore, anymore than albums really exist these days. Prepackaged media is not where things are headed. It's a-la-carte where the consumers will choose for themselves what items get auto downloaded each day as they come. If the rules for cable services were to change to a-la-carte, do you think people would stay with these companies' packages? They need a new business model or they're toast within 5 years. If I were them, I'd be very interested in what Apple's talking about. Whether or not Apple's defining or just understands where the market is headed is academic at this point.
post #38 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by star-fish View Post

Prices (generally) correlate to where people are. Material goods are more expensive, but wages are higher.

Exactly. It's no surprise that a country with a billion people living off $1/day has a lower cost of living.
post #39 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post

If I were these companies, I'd be careful to cede so much control to one company, especially when your industry is failing. If this "Apple product" succeeds so much that it has no viable competition, then Apple can hold you by the balls.

There is probably a degree of 'control' Apple would like to have, but I doubt they'd get exclusive access. There is room for competitors.

And, as another poster basically said, with their sales declining the newspapers WANT something to be hyper-successful.
post #40 of 156
As a student, I was one that kept all of my books (and still have them). If the McGraw-Hills of the world put a "time limit" on usage of their digital education content, how am I (or you) going to keep those for reference. Bad bad idea from my perspective.
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