More Proof That Apple’s Next Target Is The Print Media/Industry

Oct 29, 2009
Updated • May 21, 2018
Apple, Companies

After Apple made iTunes, it soon became quite clear that it was the best place to sell music digitally. The store became so very important that it ended up playing a major role in helping the music industry get digital and get online. Now, Apple is looking to pull up another struggling industry into the digital age – the print industry.

Currently, the only comparable stores are owned by Amazon and Barnes and Noble. But they are not nearly comprehensive enough to buoy up the industry. If Apple has its way, we will have everything from newspapers and periodicals to graphic novels and literary criticism available on the iTunes store. Okay, so that last one might take time to arrive on iTunes but the buzz created by Apple’s (not so) covert activities point towards such things happening.

Steve’s Comment

Right after the rock n’ roll event, Steve Jobs was interviewed by David Pogue where Steve was asked directly about eBook-readers. What Steve said in response was interpreted as him saying a flat no. That is what it seemed like after Pogue re-wrote the interview.

But then techcrunch dug up the cached version of the transcription that Pogue had originally posted before the re-write. And as they rightly point out – Steve is not saying that Apple will not partake in the eBook market.

Instead, he is actually saying that Apple is not interested in making a dedicated device like the Kindle and that general purpose devices will ultimately be the norm in  the future. That is a nice way of saying “We are making a general purpose device that will own all such dumb devices (like iPhone owns other smartphones).” [read]

iTunes Gets Tyrese Gibson’s Mayhem

mayhem tablet

This small event set off a big round of speculations in the tech world. Tyerese Gibson’s Mayhem became available on iTunes for $1.99 in the iTunes LP rich media format.

The speculation was that this was just a test. The tools created by Apple for this job are likely to become the base for the tools that will be given to other such authors to ready their material for the iTunes stores. Logically, the iTunes LP/Extras format is the prefect medium for this kind of content. But Apple is might even tweak it further before it is deemed fit for most of what print media has to offer. [read]

Rumors Of NYT And Others Meeting With Apple

After the iPod haze lifted, there was the Gizmodo article on Apple’s activities with the top rung of the publishing industry. This included editors, owners and others who were apparently being briefed about a new device. Word was that they were also having extensive meetings regarding selling their content on this new device/platform. [read]

NYT Editor Slips Apple Slate

This is a more recent slip leak where the venerable Bill Keller, executive editor of New York Times, slipped the words Apple Slate during an internal meeting with the newspaper’s digital team. The video was never meant to be seen by the public but this was too tantalizing to be kept under wraps I suppose. He mentioned the device as impending and probably gave the closest thing to an official confirmation of the existence of the Apple Tablet.

Apple Rumors Around Australian Media Companies

And here’s the latest bit of relevant rumor. A newspaper in Australia reports that Apple has contacted various media companies in the country about a new device. It wants to know if the companies would be interested in selling their content on this new device. The new device is portable (duh) and is described as being too big for the pocket but small enough for a handbag.

None of the companies have commented on this and if they know what’s good for them, none of them will till the embargo is lifted. [read]

The Sheer Logic And History Of It All

Both Apple and Microsoft had envisioned a future where tablets rule the world. Bill Gates had famously said that people will go back to the pen very soon. Well, that did not happen but we did see both companies trying.

Apple had their Newton pad and Microsoft had ideas. Nothing really worked out. The ideas were too far beyond the capabilities of consumer tech at that point.

Now however, in the post-iPhone world, the idea of owning and using a tablet is completely plausible and it is possible too. Along with that, the eBook market is really heating up. Judging by the sheer number of new and under-development eBook readers we have seen recently, it is obvious that everyone sees opportunity here.

Apple has never really been the type to jump in medias res. Instead, the company has tirelessly developed and tested out products to make them perfect in every possible way and then released it. Of course, nothing will ever be perfect but the first iPhone did blow everyone away. A few product cycles down, the iPhone 3GS is the hottest thing around.

So my guess is that when Apple releases their tablet/slate early next year (and we are pretty sure they will), it will be another game changing device. If you are still skeptical, see me after the launch.

More Proof That Apple’s Next Target Is The Print Media/Industry
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More Proof That Apple’s Next Target Is The Print Media/Industry
Apple is looking to pull up another struggling industry into the digital age – the print industry.
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  1. Nigel Winterbottom said on November 30, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    Don’t forget that Apple warranties will not be honoured for people who smoke.

    Nobody can get high using an Apple product……….

    I already own a Sony mp3 player as the sound quality is on a different level from Ipod devices

    1. Martin said on November 30, 2009 at 9:19 pm

      Nigel I read that as well. What about users who work in environments where other people smoke?

      1. Nigel Winterbottom said on November 30, 2009 at 11:27 pm


        I didn’t realise there were too many working environments left where people are allowed to smoke. At least not in places like the U.K, Canada and most parts of the USA.

        According to Apple, secondhand smoke contamination also voids their warranty. However, in reality I think this whole issue arose in California (where almost all really stupid ideas start, and lawsuits abound). I doubt that this would be a practical problem in countries where political correctness has not spread like a disease and the general population still walks around not wearing facemasks.

  2. Joe said on October 30, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    Here’s a user hoping that Apple or somebody releases a device that attempts to replace my own journal or sketchbook. The MS Courier mockup is the closest thing I’ve seen to my desired device (save for the products from Axiotron)

    Whatever Apple releases I agree that it won’t be as simple as competition for Kindle. We’ve had that for years, it’s called the paperback book and it’s ultimately more reliable and cheaper that an e reader.

  3. Roman ShaRP said on October 29, 2009 at 9:56 pm

    Hello! We are from exUSSR. In majority we don’t buy it – neither on Amazon, nor on iTunes.

    We have e-book readers without any protection for content.
    We have on Internet sites with thousands of scanned or even OCR’ed books (most notorious have more than 150.000 of them).
    We have torrents and p2p networks.
    Yes, we have even book shop site – where electronic version of fiction novel can be bought even for less than 1$ in 15 formats without protection DRM crap.

    That’s why we don’t care much for western content business.

    Apple can kiss my back all over – but I don’t buy neither their proprietary devices neither from their proprietary shops. 15 formats and price less then dollar – or I go to pirates.

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