“iPad news apps could accelerate switch from print to digital,” Roger Fidler for INMA's Ideas Magazine, January 2011 With more than 13 million iPads sold in 2010 and eMarketer forecasting that Apple will sell more than 33 million units in 2011 and another 56 million in 2012, Steve Jobs has clearly vanquished the skeptics and transformed personal computing.

What Jobs created is not just another cool electronic gadget but a new type of computer: an app-centric smartphone-tablet hybrid designed primarily for consuming content. He also has created something of a conundrum for newspaper publishers.

The good news for news organisations is that the iPad is popular with news junkies. Some 85% of the U.S. respondents to a Reynolds Journalism Institute (RJI) iPad survey, conducted from the beginning of September to the end of November, said their main use for the device was following news reports and current events. Next according to popularity was leisure reading of newspapers, magazines, and books. More than three-quarters of the 1,600 respondents indicated that they spent at least 30 minutes per day consuming news on their iPads, and nearly half said they spent more than an hour.

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Roger Fidler  
Program Director for Digital Publishing (Retired)


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