The publishing industry was drooling over the Apple iPad long before the product was actually announced. What it saw in the rumored device was the potential for a powerful delivery platform for a new generation of books, magazines, and newspapers. Publishers hoped the color screen, speedy processor, and intuitive interface would help them innovate content and create new business models.
Now that the iPad is a reality, the publishing industry has begun to gear up to create publications that integrate images, video, and audio into text, dramatically enhancing the storytelling process. In this sense, the iPad is a blessing. It gives publishers a new palette to work with, and, if they’re smart, new methods for charging directly for that content. They could, for example, offer new subscription models or position individual publications as standalone apps.