SOS Apple’s new ‘tablet’

Working for what is the biggest magazine publishing house in the Middle East, the hype around Apple’s new ‘tablet’ and what it will do for the publishing industry naturally intrigues me.

Tags: Apple IncorporatedApple tabletIPad
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By  Gareth Van Zyl Published  January 27, 2010

Everybody knows the publishing industry has had a torrid time of late. Some big magazine and newspaper titles have closed down all over the world, and nobody really knows what the best model is for monetising content online.

Those in the publishing industry are desperate to latch onto any sort of hope that somebody out there might invent something that will save their jobs and prevent them from living as paupers, working at the drive-thru counter at McDonalds or entering the PR industry....

Step into the limelight Apple. We don’t even know what they’re definitely launching tonight, but according to all the speculation and hype, it seems as if it’s going to be a tablet.

Today on Wired.com, a source apparently close to Apple told Wired that the new device will be an “HTML5-and-iTunes” book platform.  Something of this nature would make sense. HTML5 is going to be the new web-standard, and it makes creating dynamic content online that much easier, especially for content developers.

Already, there have been videos online (such as this one) showing the possible sort of future there might be for magazines. It looks brilliant and if what Apple launches tonight is even remotely like this, it will certainly go a long way in re-igniting the desire people once had for magazines and newspapers.

It will also make perfect business sense by reducing costs associated with distribution and printing, and making circulation revenues that much more significant to publishing houses’ bottom line.

It’ll be good for advertisers too, as the advertising will become dynamic and encourage readers to actually maybe read what is being advertised. Tablets might realistically take a while to adopt, but if they’re priced right and marketed correctly (of which Apple would be the best company to achieve this feat), they could be revolutionary and make magazines and newspapers value-proposition products again.

I don’t like to get caught up in hype, and I don’t want to make out Apple as the ‘saviour’ of the publishing industry. For all I know Apple might go ahead tonight and announce something completely different, like they’re adding an extra two gigabytes or something onto their latest iPod range.

But all I can say is that a lot of people working in my field will be interested about tonight’s announcement. It could usher in a more exciting, more dynamic and more profitable era for the publishing industry.

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