Apple to hold special iPad subscription newspaper event in December?

Steve Jobs with an iPad

We though the Back to the Mac event would be Apple's last for 2010 but according to Daring Fireball there might just be one more in December -- a Steve Jobs and Rupert Murdoch powered The Daily subscription newspaper for iPad event:

My understanding is that this initiative is going to launch with a press event, with Murdoch (and perhaps other newspaper and magazine executives) joining Steve Jobs on stage. This is not going to be a quiet launch, to say the least. But “this month” is effectively already over, considering that Thanksgiving is Thursday, so it won’t happen until next month at the earliest.

(The date I’ve heard is December 9, but that’s a Thursday, which would be somewhat unusual for an Apple press event. My guess is that they’re telling people December 9 but it might slip back to Tuesday or Wednesday the week after. Perhaps it will coincide with the opening of the Mac App Store?)

The key, though, is that what News Corp is working on is not an iPad counterpart to an existing newspaper, nor is it an “online newspaper” in general. It’s a “tablet newspaper” — and, at least for now, specifically an iPad newspaper.

Daring Fireball goes on to say this wouldn't be a newstand store the way iBooks is a book store, but it would be an API method where developers could charge subscriptions via the iTunes payment system. (Interestingly, Apple announced in-app subscriptions alongside in-app purchases for iOS 3 but nothing seems to have been done with them -- until now?)

Either way, Jobs keynote or no Jobs keynote, I'm still wondering what content Apple and Newscorp could provide via subscription that users would pay for given the web is free. Would convenience be enough, if the pricing was iTunes low and the experience just as easy?

[Daring Fireball]

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Apple to hold special iPad subscription newspaper event in December?


Like I said the other day...depending on content to price value, I may be interested. Thus far, none of the magazine subscriptions have been a good value in my opinion.

Murdoch & Newscorp have been trying for a long time to move content from free to subscription or ad supported. From what I've read this is more than simply a newspaper with articles from Newscorp's various properties. It has an independent staff of over 100 and is funded with $30 Million. Its pretty clear that their intent is to open up in this new media with something different than what's out there.

I am in favour of tablet newspapers but the price would have to be right. Some digital magazines I have seen are more expensive to buy digitally than the paper form and that puts me off.

I subscribe to the paper version of Wired and can't wait to get a subscription model for the iPad. Paying full stand price for the iPad version of the issue I already have in paper is not going to happen.