The critics debunking the media industry’s euphoria about the iPad are correct: It won’t save media.From the perspective of the old media industry, the most important line in Walt Mossberg’s breathless review of the iPad was this:
The Web browser also works beautifully, and takes advantage of the big screen to show full pages and cut down on scrolling. It even now has a bookmarks bar at the top.
What does that mean?
It means the concept of the super-rich paid-content-app for publications available for free online is the second coming of the CD-ROM.
No one will pay ~$20 a month to get the richer-experience with an app to read content they can get free online. If the content isn’t free online and the app is included with a web subscription for the same price, fine, people will happily download it (and some of them might even use it). But the idea that consumers will pay extra to read nicer fonts and richer graphics is absurd.
But the iPad will change the world. In a few years, when the low-end ones cost $199, you’ll have iPads all over the house. They’ll take the place of the newspapers and magazines that some people still buy. You might even have one that lives in a rack next to the can.
And what will you do with those iPads? Everything you do with your smartphones and PCs now, plus games, communications, etc. What you won’t do is pay a king’s ransom to download an extra-special super-produced version of a magazine that’s already available for free–one that, even now, you can’t be bothered to read.
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