NYT: iTablet to Use 3G, Run iPhone Apps, Protect Democracy


The New York Times says the iTablet/iSlate/iPad (latest probably-fake pic above) will have 3G, iPhone apps, and help protect democracy!

It will run all the applications of the iPhone and iPod Touch, have a persistent wireless connection over 3G cellphone networks and Wi-Fi, and will be built with a 10-inch color display, allowing newspapers, magazines and book publishers to deliver their products with an eye to the design that had grabbed readers in print.

How does this factor into protecting democracy? Because of Steve Jobs, and perhaps because of why Jobs considers it his most important thing he's ever done:

“Steve believes in old media companies and wants them to do well,” said a person who has seen the device and is familiar with Apple’s marketing plan for it, but who did not want to be named because talking about it might alienate him from the company. “He believes democracy is hinged on a free press and that depends on there being a professional press.”

Free as in speech, not as in beer, because the viability of this media is prefaced on it being financial sound, which means -- paid content. No one buys the media cow if they get free milk from the web (or something like that):

The December issue of GQ was downloaded from the [iTunes] app store almost 7,000 times, and twice as many times for its January issue. Last week, The New York Times announced plans to begin charging, by next year, frequent Web site visitors who are not also newspaper subscribers to read the online version.

Yet some of the people already charging for content aren't yet on board. Who? You guessed it -- TV networks:

But perhaps smarting from their experiences with Apple, many of the old-line media companies — NBC Universal, Viacom and Discovery among them — shrugged at (or totally dismissed) Apple’s plans for a TV subscription package, according to executives briefed on the talks. A person briefed on Apple’s plans confirmed that such a subscription video option was not part of any immediate offering.

If their experience is getting people to pay $2 for stuff that's given away "for free" (from the consumer's perspective) via broadcast channels every night is "smarting", does this mean their alternative of choice is "dumbing"?

If so, print media is going all in, with TechCrunch reporting the tablet may come with a Barnes & Nobles book store, either as an App Store app like the iPhone, or even built in via partnership with Apple.

The two companies are thought to be working closely together, increasing the likelihood that Barnes & Noble will be part of the announcement on Wednesday. While Apple can run around cutting deals with the larger publishers, a built-in Barnes & Noble bookstore could include up to a million titles in one fell swoop, just like on B&N’s own Nook reader.

Only 1 day to go until Apple's "Come see our latest creation" event, and then the crazy rumors will finally stop -- and the crazy stories about people lining up outside the Apple Store in Times Square will start!

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

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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NYT: iTablet to Use 3G, Run iPhone Apps, Protect Democracy


It would be nice if I got access to the iPhone version of GQ seeing as how I already have a subscription with them. A tablet would make a great ebook and magazine reader but hopefully it has some kind of OS on it so ur not limited to the iPhone apps

Kyle I agree about being able to use already purchased apps, but somehow I doubt that will happen. I also doubt you'll be able to use the subscription you already have to GQ. That seems similar to XM charging an additional $5 to use your existing service on the iPhone.
If this device is really just running iPhone OS 3.2 then it will fail. Plain and simple. It needs to be running something more like OS X with a full operating system. I bet perceived usefulness of the iPhone OS inversely scales with screen size, and it's already starting to feel limited on the phone!

The prices of magazines and ebooks will have to be competitive. People won't pay te same price as we all know or atleast assume digital is cheaper as there is no printing or transportation. Afterall they makethe magazines and book on a pc so it's not like it needs much work to make an Electronic version. Right now ebooks cost the same or more. At that rate it's never going to have the explosion people seem to want or expect.

I agree with Dave. I'm not gonna pay $12 for the latest book on kindle for iPhone app, if I can buy the real book for $17 and then sell it on amazon when I'm done.
If the book was $3 to $5 then I may buy the ebook.

I tend to agree with The Dave about acceptance of digital media in general. Regarding the iTablet, acceptance is not a slam dunk. There are substantial risks, as noted by other posters. I, for one, do not see a reason to buy an iTablet, especially if it is expensive. For one thing, it appears to be a one-hand appliance, for the most part. If I want to use two hands, I have to set it on a desk, making it a desktop, or on my lap, making it a laptop. I might buy it, if I can use it much like I use a laptop, but for half the price or less. Calling? Meh...I use skype on my laptop. iPhone apps? Meh...I have an iPhone. Video/movies? See above re: laptops.

I think it's quite amusing when people say it's going to be a giant iPhone. Do you really think steve jobs is that stupid?? He himself said its the most important thing he's ever done. I'm PRETTY sure it's more then putting a 10" screen on an iPhone. Isn't it quite obvious apple is working hard on the iPhone OS. It's been months without any update. Apple listens to it's users (over time) and not being able to customize their iPhone was one of the top complaints. People on here make me laugh

People on the street around Times Squate are always asking me where the "new Apple store" is - it's at Limclon Center, 68th & Broadway, about 25 blocks north of Times Square. Where did this "Times Square Apple store" stuff get started?

The GQ app is pretty sweet. It's things like that I like. Some companies don't yet get it; WSJ. I would love to pay for the WSJ, but I'm not paying for the website and the iPhone app at the same time. One fee for digital access. If anything I hope this tablet things gets a lot of companies on board.

I'm getting a little worried that they're fragmening the thing with a whole bunch of different reader apps for each company's content and now it appears possibly their own stores as well (B&N was mentioned). That doesn't seem like a very good user experience and is very un-Apple-like. And yeah, $2 for a single tv show is ridiculous, even $1 is pushing it for most of them.

My opinion about the level of success the Tablet will see has fluctuated. But one thing that's definitely true is that the Tablet is more than "just" a 10" iPhone. You can put two fingers on the iPhone screen; you'll be able to put ten fingers on the Tablet screen. The Jazz Mutant Lemur and Dexter are 12", 800x600, 5-lb., multitouch control interfaces for music and audio performance and production; they cost around $2000. There have been apps in the app store since practically day one that mimic the functioning of the Lemur and Dexter on the much smaller screen of the iPhone/Touch. And most Lemur users are also Macbook users. So, while this is a super-niche area of technology, the Tablet even at $1000 is going to blow the Lemur/Dexter out of the water. The point is that expanding the control surface and presenting a flexible, well thought out UI to go with that are major achievements that will find brand new functions than what is possible on a much smaller screen.
As far as print media goes, I think we'll have to see. If print media companies close off their free, online services specifically in time with the Tablet release (just like the NYT appears to be doing), then the idea that the Tablet will revolutionize print media is an attempt at a self-fulfilling prophecy, so to speak. The WSJ, a source of some of the Tablet leaks and one of the most influential papers in the U.S., has been subscription-only for a long time. And both B&N and Amazon, Google Books, and book publishers will definitely step up for the Tablet. I'm not a big fan of paying for e-books, but if the price is right, the sheer availability of e-books will drive sales.

I also think the weight of consumer behavior will dictate that there will be one huge e-book store on the Tablet, or at least one searchable segment devoted to e-books, while independent companies will release their own apps. It's for the same reason that there's only one iTunes store for mainstream music -- people just don't care who publishes a book, just as they don't care which record company produces a recording. Where there is some loyalty to a publisher or a recording company, it's because of its non-mainstream selection of writers and artists. But for large media companies, there's absolutely no name recognition or loyalty to drive sales. So, there won't be one Random House and one McGraw-Hill app; or, if there are, they won't succeed in generating more sales than a centralized store, managed by Apple.

WoW or Torchlight (if Runic games can finish a Mac ver.) better be hitting the AppStore soon. I'm just about done with iPhone games other than word games!

If the price of the tablet is not in the $300 range then there will be no impact to saving news papers. The 3gs / high end ipods need to have their prices lowered $100-150. If its a $1K for a tablet its too much. Especially if you already own a pc or laptop why bother?

Is it just me or does Steve Jobs talking about Free (as in speech) just totally out of character?
Lets see how things go when a few skin/porn mags want on his shiny new paradigm.

Don't like these 3G rumours. If I have to take out another telco contract to buy it at a sensible price - forget it.

If the price is under $1,000 then it better be an OS X system and be able to run programs like the Pro. I like the viability of a Touch screen but not a big ass itouch!

"help protect democracy"?? The US is not and never will be a democracy, and I am thankful for it. A democracy is mob rule. The US is a Constitutional Republic. You will NOT see the word democracy in the Constitution or Declaration of Independence.
Stop using the word democracy as if it is a positive thing -- it is not!

Well, these statistics turned out to be pretty spot-on. And, yes, it does seem that the iPad is little more than an iPod Touch. But, this has turned out to be something that a lot of people want. The whole tablet market was a bit of a mess because they just confused people and seemed to be trading proven functionality for little gain. It just took a familiar device to be blown up a bit in order for people to see the potential with these devices.