updated 05:20 pm EST, Thu February 4, 2010
Jobs may outdo Kindle with newspaper subs
Apple chief Steve Jobs has been visiting prominent US newspaper publishers to get deals for the iPad, a rumor today insists. The co-founder reportedly showed up at the New York Times and Wall Street Journal for demos that were either kept "off the record" or else deliberately closed to all but a select group of people. The Times is also said by New York Magazine to have held an executive dinner with Jobs, though there it was mostly to show his iPad and explain his view of media.
The tip implies that Apple had been waiting until the formal unveiling of the iPad to strike some content deals and that it wants to officially incorporate periodicals into the iBookstore, not just singular books. Whether or not this involves subscriptions isn't yet apparent, but Apple already has a newspaper-friendly model in place through the Season Pass for TV shows: customers pay once in advance and automatically download each piece of content as it becomes available.
These deals may be crucial to Apple luring customers away from the Kindle. Amazon's e-reader gained some of its popularity through an early implementation of automatic subscription downloads that would use the Kindle's always-on 3G to download new issues without user intervention. Publishers and readers have criticized Amazon's grayscale, news-only formatting as too limited, however, and give Apple an opening to provide not just color photos but video and Internet-linked content.