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The NY Post has made a quiet, and very interesting, move. The Post has blocked access to its website via the Safari browser on the iPad. The ONLY way to access Post content is through the iPad app, an app that users must pay for. As of this writing, Post content is still available free via any browser on a PC or mobile phone— but you have to wonder how long that’ll continue.

Of course, the Post is owned by News Corp., which is bullish on charging for digital content.

This is a very interesting move. One of the issues surrounding iPad apps has always been that users can get the same content free via a browser. If browser access is shut off, will that spur app sales? Or, will users go back to their PCs and mobile devices as long as the content is free there? And, will other publishers follow suit and shut off browser access on now only the iPad, but on any device with an Android app?

Stay tuned. The Post very well may have begun a new strategy that could take off.

 

 

Here’s a roundup of happenings in the tablet world in May:

 

If you haven’t heard of Lodsys pay attention. This is the company that owns the patent behind in-app purchasing on the iPad.  Lodsys says it’s granted Apple rights to use the technology but has not extended that to app developers.

S0: Lodsys says developers that don’t have a license can’t use the in-app payment system. Lodsys has started filing lawsuits in an effort to force developers to either license or pay for the service.

There’s lots online about this dust up that’s more than a dust up. If developers have to begin paying for the right to use the software that powers in-app purchasing, and then has to give Apple 30% on top of that, how long before the app economic model starts to dry up and collapses? This certainly is one to watch.

Okay, so maybe I will try to kick start this sorry blog in the event that there’s someone out there paying attention. If not, well …..

You’ve seen the press reports. The big boys are starting to come out with their Android tablets. Samsung. Motorola. HP. LG. Lenovo. They’re all looking for a piece of the pie.

I’ll talk about what they’ll fail at some other point. But for now, we’ll focus on publishers, who have difficult choices ahead. Unlike the iPad — one device, one operating system, one screen size and resolution — Android comes in a myriad of confusing specs. There’s no one standard; they’re all in different screen sizes, resolutions and operating system, and that means publishers have to do one of two things: (1) find a market-leading an innovative solution so that one application can play across every Android device available or (2) make a bet on one of the manufacturers.

I think (2) is like betting on whether Kansas City or San Diego will win the world series; you can make that bet but you’ll lose. Publishers who want to get in the game in a meaningful way need to bet on a product that goes across every Android device. And they shouldn’t wait. Many of these devices will be out this Fall, and a publisher that starts right this minute has a chance to be out for the Christmas buying season — and this one will explode with the iPad and the Androids.

Those that wait will find themselves behind the curve once again — just like publishing was during the birth of news online, mobile and that iPad thing. Let’s get ahead of the curve for once.

The views expressed in this blog are mine alone

Here’s a roundup of happening in the tablet world:

So Sharp announces it will launch a tablet called Galapagos. It promises it will be really cool, and it promises the price will be competitive.  People will love it and flock to stores to buy so many the factory won’t be able to keep up.

So let me get this straight:

In an ultra-competitive tablet market, Sharp announces a tablet with a name many can’t pronounce, with no price or launch date?

Wow.

Several of you who routinely read my blog posts have asked why I’ve stopped. It certainly isn’t for lack of interesting things happening in the world. It’s been more a function of time. For those of you who try to blog regularly, you know how time consuming this can be. But enough of the excuses: let’s give this another shot. Here are some random thoughts:

  • Reports seem to indicate that the publishing industry — especially newspapers — is rebounding a little. Revenue projections look better; the advertising slide won’t be as bad in 2010 as it was in 2009. But this should provide little comfort since the traditional sources of revenue aren’t coming back, and publishers are still having a hard time finding new revenue streams.
  • The iPad’s taken everyone by storm. I’ve seen it, used it, and it is a nice device that will have value among a certain segment of the population. But how popular will it be long term? In the end, it looks to me to be a niche product.
  • Tablet computers are getting a lot of press, just like e-readers were a year ago. And, a year from now, some other device will overshadow tablets. It’s the way of the tech world.

I’ll explore all of these in more depth in the weeks ahead.