There’s been a lot of talk lately about Apple approaching newspaper and magazine publishers around the world about making their product available on a yet unannounced device. This makes a lot of sense if you look at it the right way.I think that a lot of people are thinking too narrowly about what this all means. Because of the discussions Apple is having with publishers, some have come to the conclusion that the tablet will be a Kindle killer — way too narrow thinking.
There is no doubt that Apple’s tablet can kill the Kindle, but that’s not Apple’s objective. If that was the largest goal Apple had with a new product, they should just close up shop now. Steve Jobs and the talent at Apple could kill the Kindle in a weekend with both hands tied behind their backs and blindfolded.
However, Apple does need a new hook for the tablet. That hook will, in part, be the worldwide publishers.
Think of it like this. Part of the overwhelming success of the iPod was the iTunes Store and the deals Apple was able to forge with the music labels. Part of the success of the iPhone is the App Store and what Apple has been able to do with developers.
Part of the draw for the tablet will be newspapers and magazines and the subscription deals they can offer users for publications around the world.
When Apple approached the major music labels to sell music online, the music industry was in shambles. Piracy was rampant, CD sales were down, musicians were publishing their own music and the labels were failing to keep its grip on the industry.
In 2009, newspapers find themselves desperate for readers and more importantly, revenue. Some have tried to block off their content and become an online pay service, but despite their best efforts, they are failing. Hundreds of newspapers closed in 2009 as pressure to be profitable continues.
Along comes Apple and offers a way for newspapers and magazines to join the digital publishing market. The parallels are clearly there.
Having newspapers and magazines from around the world available for the tablet will help save the floundering publishing industry, but it’s not the only thing the tablet will do.
Obviously, video, music and apps will be a big part of the tablet’s business as well. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Apple come up with a few other things to make the tablet a must-have device, as well.
When all is said and done, Apple will have propped up the music, television, movie, mobile app, and publishing industries.
While other companies are fighting to sell cheap netbooks, Apple will offer several devices that will be cool and do everything we wanted and more. That’s the way to win a war.