When it comes the Apple brand I have friends who love it and friends who hate it. I, however, am somewhere in between. I like my MacBook and I love my iPod but when it comes to products such as the iPhone and the apps you can buy for it, I believe it gets a little silly. For example one of the apps available for the iPhone is aimed at new mothers and fathers and goes by the name of Signing Time ASL Dictionary Flash Cards. Reality is, no new born learning is going to pay attention to this. So my question is, is the new iPad going to be any different from the iPhone and is it really worth the money?

Firstly, I have never used the iPad but it is obvious to tell that it is just a merged version of an Apple Mac and the iPhone. Users are able to have access to iTunes, the internet and iWork (this allows you to make presentations and word documents as well as spreadsheets.) They are able to use it as an iPod, store addresses and phone numbers and even read books on it. But is this a good thing? Yes consumers like convergence and want more for less but what about when it comes to journalism. How does the new technology play a part there? Well one website has the answers.

Joshua Benton at the Nieman Journalism Lab has stated five reasons he believes the new ipad will and will not change the current state of journalism.

  1. It will have an impact on consumer behaviour.
    Benton argues that the iPad will be popular, attracting a lot of media attention. He states it will appeal to big crowds of people who never thought of using the Amazon Kindle – a product that allows users to read books, apps could be downloaded onto the iPhone – such as “gamers, workers, YouTube addicts and more.” It will bring in a new audience.
  2. The iPad doesn’t change the paid – content equation.
    Benton states that news businesses all dream of the day that a device “will come along that will convince people to pay for digital news,” but this won’t happen when you can essentially get it for free. He says that just like the iPhone, the iPad “doesn’t change any of the fundamental economics of news commerce.” Not only does the iPhone allow users to sell new apps via the App Store but you can do it on the iPad and the only thing that has changed is the size of the product you are using. Media organizations remain in the same situation as before.
  3. The iPhone app ecosystem is not radically changing.
    Its has been that said that all the news organizations who have made iPhone apps will still be able to apply these to the new iPad. However, unlike the iPhone in which “the limited real estate meant you were stuck with a rigid world of user-interface possibilities, which is why nearly every newspaper iPhone app looks roughly interchangeable with another,” the iPad gives “user-interface designers many more pixels to deal with, and among newspapers’ core skills remains the ability to display organized text and information in a pleasing and useful way.”
  4. Advertising.
    Benton states that right now mobile advertising is going to be massive, having seen plenty of growth. The iPad only expands this and opens up new possibilities – “from sensible text ads to site takeovers (app takeovers) to interstitials to more.” So expect banner ads, which will create additional revenue for news organizations.
  5. Magazines or lack of.
    Benton talks about how several magazine companies worked on their own tablet concepts and how early talks about the new technology focused on using magazines. But this wasn’t followed through and magazines failed to get a mention. He states “Several magazines have moved in the one-iPhone-app-per-issue direction, and those apps will be much more impressive on the big screen, but magazines are in the same boat as newspapers: waiting for the iPad ecommerce revolution to arrive.”

So what have we learned? Well the iPad isn’t all that special after all. Yes you can view things on a bigger screen but when it comes to the media organizations and outlets that wish to use it as a way to expand it doesn’t look as those the iPad is going to help it go very far anytime soon.