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Are there revenues for news media in the Apple iPad ecosystem?

Thu, 2010-01-28 13:32 — Valerie Arnould

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Since April 2009 rumors and experts have been waiting and now it is here, the iPad. It looks like an oversized iPhone, but there will be no confusion because it does not offer ‘true’ 3G or a camera. The iPad could follow the successful track of the iPhone, says Stig Nordqvist, WAN-IFRA Emerging Digital Platforms and Business Development director. But he does not see signs of revenues for news media on this new Apple ecosystem.

“For me it is clear that this device will not revolutionize traditional media but more likely Internet media. Apps on iPhone are good but on the iPad they will be even better and richer. Gaming, movies, pictures, PDA, iTunes will be great. But I must admit that I am not that impressed by iBooks.
Here are some interesting first impressions from participants that used the iPad at the release event:
-‘It's not light. It feels pretty weighty in your hand.’
-‘The screen is stunning, and it's 1024 x 768.’
-‘It is blazingly fast, everything flew.’
-‘There's no multitasking at all. It's a real disappointment.’
-‘No camera. None, nada. Zip. No video conferencing here folks. Hell, it doesn't have an SMS app!’
-‘The keyboard is good, not great.’

Apple is building on the 250 million iPod owners’ user experience. With the iPad they reproduce a similar feeling but with a much improved experience for all these people. There are also 140 000 Apps which can be used on the iPad and new dedicated 9,7” designs are in the pipeline from gaming and other industries, for example Gameloft, a game developer, which demonstrated a first-person shooter game on the iPad. iWork, the Apple Office pack of programmes, will be working fully on this device as will iCal, Mail and contacts, using a virtual keyboard (or connecting to a small external keyboard).
Talking about iBooks, Steve Jobs said during the iPad press conference that Amazon had pioneered e-reading with the Kindle, but he added: “We are going to stand on their shoulders and go a little bit farther.” It is certainly great that Apple has chosen the EPUB format for openness. And their user interface is stunning – but is it actually a good reading experience like print or a book on the Kindle?
“Reading a book on an iPad isn’t necessarily going to be that much better — a whole lot better; it will still be in black and white. The Kindle still represents a good vehicle for people who only want an e-reader” commented Gerry Purdy, an independent analyst.
Martin Nisenholtz from the New York Times presented an optimized web/Times reader approach on the device which is obviously not based on the good looking Adobe AIR Times reader 2.0 (because iPad does not handle Flash). So this does not impress me. Also, again, how about revenues for news media on this ecosystem?
iPad will help Apple grow stronger and sell more services, content and hardware. The early prediction by Apple is that sales 2010 will be 2. 5 million units and Bloomberg News thinks 3-4 million.
Their pricing is quite clever, ranging between 499$ - 829$.
But the low price entry-level device will clearly be compared with the Kindle 9,7" 489$ device, which includes 3G …when the iPad is 499$ without 3G”.

Watch the Video presentation of the iPad
Check its technical details



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