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'Guardian' reveals iOS app subscriptions ahead of expected Apple event

post #1 of 15
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As Apple is rumored to soon unveil a new subscription service for applications on iOS devices, popular U.K. newspaper The Guardian has revealed that it hopes to release a new subscription-based iPhone application before Christmas.

The publication announced Thursday that it will remove its current application from the App Store, and replace it with a new subscription-based app that will cost £2.99 for six months and £3.99 for 12 months. The Guardian will also have an ad-supported version released in the U.S. for free.

Jonathon Moore, the mobile product manager for The Guardian, did not indicate that the subscription plans will be a part of Apple's rumored iOS update for the iPhone. But the timing does coincide with rumors of a media event scheduled for Dec. 9 or soon after to announce a subscription billing option for applications.

"We'll be launching the new app globally for the first time and although we can't confirm exactly when it will be available, we're working towards a pre-Christmas release," Moore wrote. He also confirmed that the publication is working on an iPad application.

One rumor has suggested that Apple plans to release iOS 4.3, a new update for its mobile operating system that powers the iPhone and iPad, in December. That update will allegedly include the ability to have recurring app subscriptions through an iTunes account.

Apple is said to have worked closely with News Corp to create a new tablet-only newspaper called The Daily, expected to launch in a matter of weeks. The publication, which will not have an online or print edition, reportedly has 100 journalists working from the 26th floor of the News Corp offices in New York.
post #2 of 15
"'Guardian' reveals iOS app subscriptions ahead of expected Apple event"

Well! No soup for THEM!
post #3 of 15
Just great, the app I recently purchased is soon to be discontinued! Marvellous.
post #4 of 15
I'd pay for Guardian. Especially $8 per year.
post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by pembroke View Post

Just great, the app I recently purchased is soon to be discontinued! Marvellous.

To be fair, the newspaper itself is £1 a day, to put it in to perspective. You were charged a day or two's editions for something that will work for quite some time. And no ads.

I understand the current app will continue to work but the content will be limited. The Guardian is still entirely free on their website and they have a pretty good mobile site.
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post #6 of 15
The Guardian (or "Grauniad" as it's affectionately known in the UK) is the only national UK newspaper not owned by a proprietor or shareholders, but by a trust. It has publicly stated on several occasions that it will always remain free online, but as its print circulation declines it needs to find new ways to fund that.
Recent columns in the paper have been anti- the rumoured Apple/Murdoch tie-up, saying it won't save newspapers so they're giving mixed messages a bit with this. Or maybe not - it's cheap enough that it's not aimed at making a profit, expensive enough that it will bring revenue.

The subscription price is a steal compared with other newspaper apps, and compared with the cost of the actual paper (£1.00, much more for the Sunday "Observer"). But I can't see how they'll earn much from it unless it carries ads...

Anyway, good news but not great. The current iPhone app is good, but it lacks an iPad version which this will rectify.
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post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by artistry View Post

I understand the current app will continue to work but the content will be limited. The Guardian is still entirely free on their website and they have a pretty good mobile site.

Oh well, I guess it's back to the website for me: the normal version on my iPad and the mobile version on my iPod touch.

Shame. And I thought we were making progress in 2010 in getting information to readers the way they want it.

The funny thing is that a lot of these newspaper apps (WSJ, NY Times, Washington Post, Guardian) have vastly inferior user interfaces than a standard web page.
post #8 of 15
As a purchaser of the current app, I'm in two minds about this.

On the one hand, I'm not best pleased about the as-yet-unspecified discontinuation of a service that I believed I'd paid to access through the current app.

On the other, the app is dreadful: buggy and crashes far more frequently than any other app on my 3GS. Perhaps it's best to put it out of its misery..
post #9 of 15
I'm really surprised that AppleInsider has only just picked-up on this and why the negative spin? The Guardian published these exact details a month ago (minus the exact date). The move to a subscription model was no secret back then, so why should this be a problem now? Why the negative 'you've upset Apple' spin? Come on AppleInsider, I don't read you every day for this silly hyperbole.

Last months article:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010...ian-iphone-app
post #10 of 15
Adding magazine subscriptions to the Ipad could really move it up in the world of e-readers. I've had the chance of using a nook for a while, and I have to say that reading on iPad is harder due to glare, but ease of getting variety content makes me overlook the glare (adjust my position to get rid of it) . Adding subs would create an even bigger variety of content that iPad could get and make it a much better device.
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post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Potts View Post

I'm really surprised that AppleInsider has only just picked-up on this and why the negative spin? The Guardian published these exact details a month ago (minus the exact date). The move to a subscription model was no secret back then, so why should this be a problem now? Why the negative 'you've upset Apple' spin? Come on AppleInsider, I don't read you every day for this silly hyperbole.

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post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Potts View Post

I'm really surprised that AppleInsider has only just picked-up on this and why the negative spin? The Guardian published these exact details a month ago (minus the exact date). The move to a subscription model was no secret back then, so why should this be a problem now? Why the negative 'you've upset Apple' spin? Come on AppleInsider, I don't read you every day for this silly hyperbole.

Last months article:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010...ian-iphone-app

Where are you getting negative "you've upset Apple" spin from the article? It just explains what the Guardian is planning, and mentions that Apple is rumored to be planning an update that would make that possible.

Sort of a "it all fits together" sort of a post, but nothing I can see with a negative spin, much less any implication that it's somehow an insult to Apple.
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post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post


Shame. And I thought we were making progress in 2010 in getting information to readers the way they want it.

Considering The Guardian makes a loss every year, I think they need some sort of income in order to continue getting information to readers at all. Nothing's free - journalism of this quality needs paying for and if you support a "free press" and quality, investigative journalism I think we should be prepared to pay for it.

A free press needs paying for.
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post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheff View Post

Adding magazine subscriptions to the Ipad could really move it up in the world of e-readers. I've had the chance of using a nook for a while, and I have to say that reading on iPad is harder due to glare, but ease of getting variety content makes me overlook the glare (adjust my position to get rid of it) . Adding subs would create an even bigger variety of content that iPad could get and make it a much better device.

I've never had a problem with glare on an iPad. Just saying.
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post #15 of 15
I subscribe to the digital editions of both the guardian and the observer as they are exact copies of the paper editions rather than cut down versions. If the same was offered on the iPad I would happily switch but I would not pay for a cut down iPad/iPhone version, what's the point when you can go to the guardian website for free. If subscriptions are going to work they need to provide added value over what is on the website. Alternatively if they created a weekly news magazine on the iPad I would pay for that as I don't always have time to read the full edition every day.
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