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NBR on iPad!




ABOVE: the iPad's roomy 9.7-inch (diagonal) screen is the same size as a netbook or small notebook, and renders standard websites just as well in many cases, limiting the appeal of splashing out on a specialised iPad app. One sticking point: Flash

Chris Keall
Tue, 06 Apr 2010

ABOVE: the iPad's roomy 9.7-inch (diagonal) screen is the same size as a netbook or small notebook, and renders standard websites just as well in many cases, limiting the appeal of splashing out on a specialised iPad app. One sticking point: Flash graphics don't display.

Apple’s iPad touchscreen tablet launched April 4 (April 5 New Zilind time) to go-go sales of around 300,000 units.

At least one analyst is now predicting sales of 7 million in the iPad’s first year; Apple itself has bumped its first-quarter sales projection from 650,000 to 1.12 million; Apple's market cap, at another new high (US216 billion), is now greater than Nokia and Cisco combined, and closing in on the much larger (by revenue and total profit) Microsoft ($US244 billion).

Pricing ranges from $US499 (for a 16GB wi-fi edition) to a steep $US829 (for the 64GB, 3G-enabled version, plus $US30 a month for unlimited data). As yet, there is no NZ release date yet for either, or for the related iBookstore download service. (See full specs on Apple's site here and array of pricing options here.)

Reviews were generally positive, but with some, like Technologizer's Harry McCracken, noting unexpected out-of-memory messages, and display bugs among "LOTS of iPad glitches".

Lance Wiggs - one-time head of Fairfax Digital, Pacific Fibre co-founder and occasional critic of NBR’s website - was in the US for the iPad launch, and became one of the first wave of customers.

Mr Wiggs immediately surfed to several New Zealand sites, most of which - including NBR - loaded easily on the iPad’s roomy display (see his screen shots here).

The only sticking point was where a site (or ads) featured Flash-based content - which is why there are actually a couple of (whisper it quietly) a couple of blank spaces on the iPad-rendered version of NBR. 

A number of people have asked me when NBR will release an iPad edition.

Now I’ve learnt that, as expected, the standard version of NBR’s website actually displays quite well on an iPad, so I’m not seeing the incentive for our publisher to splash out on an iPad-optimised edition.

I can see why other publishers are readying iPad editions (or in the US, have already launched them); people are just more psychologically attuned to paying for content if it’s delivered optimised for an alternative platform (mobile, iPhone, iPad) that if it’s a standard website.

But while most publishers can’t get people to pay for web content, NBR’s doing fine in that department, thank you very much.

Beyond a leg-up for paid content, if needed, the key advantage of developing an iPad app (and cutting Apple a slice if it’s a paid app) is to get around the problem of Flash graphics failing to display (HTML 5 is pushed as an alternative).

This strikes me as a bit of a shakedown.

I’m sure Apple, with all its army of brainy developers, could easily enable Flash for iPad (and iPhone) if it so desired.

Chris Keall
Tue, 06 Apr 2010
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NBR on iPad!
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