The Apple iPad/iPhone and iTunes platform was not just smart, it was revolutionary. It has been a game changer in the phone business, music industry and book industry. As it has killed the music store and begun to cripple the book store, Apple has set its sights on its next target, the newsstand. Rather than buy your newspaper subscription from the publisher, you buy your annual subscription through Apple and get accessibility on your iPad and iPhone device. "Publishers are, wisely, worried that Apple's inserting itself as the go-to vendor for publications will make the publishers largely irrelevant, the same way it has made the music companies irrelevant."
Will publishers give up complete control? Will consumers want both print and digital version as they transition consumers. Will digital be the rebirth of the print industry and lead finally to consumers paying again for content and not just reading for free online. iTunes proved that a model can bring consumers back from stealing songs to buying them. Priced competitively with extras that are exclusive inside a walled garden of content, print subscriptions should find their subscription revenue rising.
The timing of new content with the next generation device is typical for Apple. It keeps them on the cutting edge and maintains Apple's leadership position. While Apple has never conquered the PC world with its mac line, despite being a superior product, it has found great success with the ancillary devices that we as consumers are becoming more dependent on. First the phone, then the pad. Apple is making them the must have gadgets for all.