Apple Will Screw Publishers Like It Screwed Music

Assuming anyone buys the currently crappy iPad magazine apps
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 17, 2010 10:03 AM CDT
In this file photo taken April 7, 2010, the Bento iPad application is demonstrated in Palo Alto, Calif.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)

(Newser) – Magazine publishers seem convinced Apple's new “Jesus Tablet” is going to save them, but they are shockingly wrong, and you'll realize why after 10 minutes on the device, writes Jacob Weisberg for Slate. Whereas on the iPhone's cramped screen, an app is genuinely better than visiting a website, the iPad's 9.7-inch screen can run Safari just fine. Why buy overpriced magazine apps—seriously $5 a week for Time?—that lack basic features like linking?

Even if the apps do catch on, they would only make Apple, which takes a 30% cut of the app sale price and plans to take about 40% of ad revenue, the intermediary between publishers and readers—which “will be no less of a disaster for print publishers than it was for the music industry,” Weisber argues. But Apple's "censorious instinct" is the worst part. Steve Jobs “detests an open orifice,” and won't hesitate to censor anything he deems inappropriate.

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