Apple should come out with their own magazine for the iPad that would serve as a model for other media publishers to follow. Another alternative is for Apple to work closely with a couple of major magazines that can serve as showcases on how to transform print into the digital age.
Nexus One, Google's model smartphone, was a brilliant move even though it did not sell in the numbers expected but it did act as a showcase device for other device makers to follow and gave a kick in the butt for those in the Android market. Without it, the Android market may not be where it is at today. It is why Google continue this with Nexus S.
It's a model that Apple can follow. Steve Jobs should lead a team that can put together and publish an Apple-backed magazine. I don't know what subject it could be about. Anything really. But it will allow Apple to lead the way and show how to leverage technology and tools such as social media that are readily available for publishing a digital magazine.
I think a showcase along the line of The Project from Virgin is a good start. And while I applaud Virgin's effort and first time out, there is much more The Project can offer as its team gain more experience. Apple can leapfrog all that and put everything else in the app store to shame.
See, I don't think the reports of stagnating sales of magazine apps for the iPad is an issue about Apple not offering a subscription scheme for publishers. That has appeared on blog after blog and it's a rather easy excuse for everyone to latch onto.
The more serious problem is that everything thinks that just by offering a digital copy of the magazine would satisfy readers. Sorry, my friends, is not the case. The current magazines being offered on the iPad offer a few videos and sounds but nothing more. And most of what's available for the iPad can be obtained online.
Apple needs to approach the magazine and newspaper industry the way it did with music, mobile, and tablet markets. Shake things up and lead through innovation.
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