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Can the iPad Save the Newspapers?

Thirty five years ago, give or take, I was presented with my first etch-a-sketch. And it looked a little bit like the iPad. Which makes me qualified to declare the iPad the future of media.

Or at least, that’s the logic of an article in today’s Guardian by Alan Rusbridger, who says that a block of wood that he saw sixteen years ago showed him the future. And that future was the iPad.

“My personal journey to the iPad began around 16 years ago in Aspen, Colorado,” Rusbridger begins. He saw a website showing a newspaper online and was duly impressed. “But the real excitement lay in Aspen, where the Knight Ridder newspaper chain had set up a “laboratory” to study the future of news. It was rumoured that they had built a “tablet” – a portable screen on which people could read newspapers.”

The tablet he saw was a block of wood with a printout of a newspaper glued on the front. No, I’m not kidding.

“At present it consists only of an A4 block of wood, with a ‘front page’ stuck on it: the technology for creating Fidler’s ‘Flat Pad’ is, he estimates, still a couple of years off.

And the iPad finally fulfilled that dream. “Here it was – the Aspen block of wood incarnate!” says Rusbridger when his iPad arrived.

The iPad Will Not Fix Your Newspaper

Rusbridger then goes on to talk about how perfect the iPad is to consume the Internet (no disagreement from me on that point). And he suggests the iPad might be the knight in shining armor who rushes in to save the day for newspapers: “So is the iPad the future of newspapers after all?”

The best I can tell is that the newspaper guys envision people sitting on a train on the way to work reading their iPad. That’s similar to people sitting on a train reading the newspaper. And since those two things are similar, voila!, the iPad will save newspapers.

Seriously, that’s as far as the argument goes.

But jumping back to reality…the iPad changes everything, which really means nothing has changed. All the pressures the Internet put on newspapers – crushing the business model, unlimited competition, no need for tree massacres – are just amplified by the iPad.

Now would be the time to embrace the Internet. But The New York Times (NYT), The Wall Street Journal and others are running in the opposite direction with apps that have no hyperlinks and/or require a fee to get access. All those people sitting on trains with their iPads are going to do the same thing that all those people sitting in their offices on their laptops did – get their news from free sources that hyperlink to other free sources.

The etch-a-sketch was very, very cool. But it didn’t give newspapers a competitive advantage and a way to stay alive a little longer. And neither does the iPad.

Original post

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About the author: Michael Arrington
Michael Arrington picture
Michael Arrington is the founder of the Crunch Network and editor of TechCrunch (http://techcrunch.com), a highly influential Silicon Valley blog “dedicated to obsessively profiling and reviewing new Internet products and companies.” He is on the board of Foldera, a web-based… More

Current scoop on the iPad and 3Gs

Select your iPad.

Wi-Fi

16GB1

  • Ships: By April 12th
  • Free Shipping
  • $499.00

32GB1

  • Ships: By April 12th
  • Free Shipping
  • $599.00

64GB1

  • Ships: By April 12th
  • Free Shipping
  • $699.00

Wi-Fi + 3G 3G data plan sold separately. Learn more

16GB1

  • Ships: Late April
  • Free Shipping
  • $629.00

32GB1

  • Ships: Late April
  • Free Shipping
  • $729.00

64GB1

  • Ships: Late April
  • Free Shipping
  • $829.00
iPad order limit: two per customer.
//

iPad at a glance. Visit the iPad site


  • The best way to experience the web, email, photos, and video.

    Page through websites, write an email, flick through photos, or watch a movie with just the touch of a finger.

    Learn about iPad features


  • A design that’s thin, light, and brilliant.

    iPad has a 9.7-inch, high-resolution LED-backlit IPS display and incredible Multi-Touch capability. Yet it’s thin and light enough to take anywhere.

    Learn about iPad design


  • Over a thousand apps made just for iPad. Right at your fingertips.

    Right now you can discover over a thousand apps on the App Store made just for iPad — with more coming every day. And if that’s not enough, you can also run almost 150,000 iPhone apps.2

    Learn about iPad apps


  • Introducing iBooks. A new way to read and buy books.

    Download the free iBooks app from the App Store. More than a great ebook reader, it’s also an amazing place to browse and shop for books.3

    Learn more about the iBookstore

About iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G

Take a network with you wherever you go.

iPad is available in a Wi-Fi + 3G model for fast cellular network access when you’re not within range of a Wi-Fi network.

No-contract, 3G service.

In the U.S., 3G service will be available from AT&T. You can choose from two breakthrough data plans — no contract required.

AT&T 3G data plans for iPad
Data per month Price per month
250MB/month $14.99
Unlimited $29.99
Easy sign-up.

You sign up for 3G service right on your iPad. And you can monitor your data usage and change your plan at any time, including switching to unlimited data or canceling 3G service if you know you won’t need it. Learn more about iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G

What’s included.

In the box

  • iPad
  • Dock Connector to USB Cable
  • 10W USB Power Adapter
  • SIM eject tool
    (Wi-Fi + 3G model only)
  • Documentation

Mac requirements

  • Mac computer with USB 2.0 port
  • Mac OS X v10.5.8 or later
  • iTunes 9.1 or later (free download)
  • iTunes Store account
  • Internet access

PC requirements

  • PC with USB 2.0 port
  • Windows 7; Windows Vista; or Windows XP Home or Professional with Service Pack 3 or later
  • iTunes 9.1 or later (free download)
  • iTunes Store account
  • Internet access

3G data plan FAQs.

What are the 3G data plan options from AT&T?There are two monthly data plans: 250MB or unlimited. There’s no contract, and you can sign up and change your service right on your iPad. In addition, AT&T data plans include unlimited access to over 20,000 Wi-Fi hotspots at locations including Starbucks, Barnes & Noble, and more.How can I find out if I have coverage in my area?Simply enter your street address, city, and state or zip code in the AT&T Data Coverage Viewer.

Am I required to purchase a data plan if I buy an iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G?No. When you’re ready to use 3G service, just sign up for a contract-free data plan right on your iPad. You can always use the built-in 802.11n Wi-Fi to access the Internet.

Can I use my current iPhone service plan with the iPad?No. The cellular plan for iPhone is separate from the iPad plan.

Can I use my iPad while traveling outside of the U.S.?You can connect to Wi-Fi hotspots anywhere in the world. Please check with AT&T regarding international 3G usage.

Are iPhone and iPad SIM cards interchangeable?No. Your iPhone SIM card will not fit into your iPad.

If I choose the 250MB plan, what happens when I reach my monthly limit?As you get close to your monthly data limit, you’ll receive onscreen messages to help you decide whether to upgrade to another 250MB or switch to the unlimited plan. You can also check your data usage anytime in Settings.How do I sign up for an AT&T 3G data plan?On your iPad, tap Settings and choose Cellular Data. Then type in your user information, select a plan, and enter your credit card information. There’s no need to visit a store or call customer service.
Learn how to sign up, monitor, and manage your 3G service — all from your iPad

Questions? Just ask. Talk with a knowledgeable Apple specialist. Call 1-800-MY-APPLE begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              1-800-MY-APPLE      end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Buy your iPad with complete confidence.

Technical Support and the iPad Warranty

Every iPad comes with complimentary telephone technical support within 90 days of your iPad purchase. In addition, your iPad, its rechargeable battery, and all included accessories are covered against defects for one year from the original purchase date by a limited hardware warranty.
Genius Bar — Available at every Apple Retail Store, it’s the place for free advice, insight, and friendly, hands-on technical support for your iPad, Mac, iPod, iPhone, or Apple TV. Make a reservation ahead of time to guarantee your spot. Learn more about the Genius Bar at Apple Retail Stores

AppleCare Protection Plan

Extend your technical support and hardware coverage for two years from the original purchase date of your iPad with the AppleCare Protection Plan. You get direct access to Apple’s own experts for questions and advice about using your iPad. And you get repair or replacement service — including parts and labor — on your iPad, its battery, and included accessories. (For further details, read terms and conditions.)

Just $99.00 — Simply add the AppleCare Protection Plan to your order after selecting your iPad.
Learn more about the AppleCare Protection Plan

Complimentary: 1 year parts and labor and 90 days  phone support. Additional coverage with Apple Care protection plan: 3  years parts and labor and 3 years phone support.

Accessories for your iPad.


  • iPad Keyboard Dock

    The iPad Keyboard Dock combines a charging dock with a full-size keyboard. The dock includes a rear dock connector port and an audio line out port.

    $69.00


  • iPad Case

    The iPad Case not only protects your iPad, it can be used in various positions. So it’s easy to type, look at photos and slideshows, or watch movies.

    $39.00


  • iPad Dock

    The iPad Dock lets you dock and charge your iPad. It includes a rear dock connector and an audio line out port.

    $29.00


  • iPad Camera Connection Kit

    The Camera Connection Kit gives you two ways to import photos and videos from a digital camera: using the camera’s USB cable or using the included SD card reader.

    $29.00


  • iPad 10W USB Power Adapter

    The iPad 10W USB Power Adapter lets you charge your iPad directly through an electrical outlet. And the 6-foot-long power cord allows you to charge it from an even greater distance.

    $29.00


  • iPad Dock Connector to VGA Adapter

    The iPad Dock Connector to VGA Adapter lets you connect your iPad to a TV, monitor, projector, or LCD that uses a VGA connector or cable so you can watch slideshows and movies.

    $29.00

  1. 1GB = 1 billion bytes; actual formatted capacity less.
  2. Application availability and pricing are subject to change.
  3. iBooks is available only in the U.S.c

Select your iPad.

Wi-Fi

16GB1

iPad from 499, no monthly service contract

iPad service AT&T

When all the dust settles we will know what all the fees are and marvel at the technology.

BUT

How many will buy it?  Does the economic strain we live with impact spending habits on gadgets / new toys / the latest and greatest?

How does one make a decision as this?  Is it emotional, could it be based on logic?

From http://apple.com/iPad

With i Pad, you get all our latest innovations. And all our most advanced technologies. In one of the most revolutionary products we’ve ever created. All at a price that’s well within reach.

16 GB 32 GB 64 GB
Wi-Fi $499 $599 $699
Wi-Fi + 3G $629 $729 $829
  • Prices in US Dollars. International pricing will be announced at a later date.
  • 3G data plan sold separately.
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