Gadgets – The Apple iPad is a False Media Savior

So, Apple today debuts the iPad (…really, guys?), which is basically Apple’s idea of an eReader and a netbook smashed into one. I’ve little doubt it’ll be a popular, if niche, product, just like I have little doubt that it won’t do a damn thing for print media.

It’s worth asking: how does the iPad solve any of print media’s problems? It’s basically just Apple’s version of a netbook. It’s nice the New York Times has made a custom app, and I’m sure that’ll get it a few subscriptions…but enough to put off the fracturing of the audience? Enough to solve the problem of being able to get news from a thousand different sources? It’s worth remembering that Newsday’s paywall has yielded precisely 35 subscribers. And Newday isn’t a piddling little rag in the middle of nowhere.

It’s like the Kindle and all the other eReaders: I see it fulfilling a niche but I don’t see it catching mainstream acceptance. And even if it does, I suspect most of the iPad’s users will decide they only want to pay for the device.

It’s like the Times’ paywall scheme: most people go to the Times for news they can get elsewhere. Once they’re charged a fee, they’ll go to CNN.com or YouTube or any other of a thousand sources that can afford to give it away for free.

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One Response to “Gadgets – The Apple iPad is a False Media Savior”

  1. Will Says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with your post.

    Where’s the real value in paying for the Times? I can go to hundreds of other sites and get the news. They’re kidding themselves if they think this iPad will save print media.

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