Publishing/Writing: Insights, News, Intrigue


Publishing Crossroads – The Main Intersection

With the advent of mobile devices such as the iPad and iPhone, newspapers and magazines see a hitherto nonexistent opportunity for generating paid subscription digital versions as the new mobiles (and they WILL be proliferating like rabbits!) will be hungry for great, meaningful and pertinent content.
The publishing crossroads is a balancing act between the younger generation, used to digital media and expecting instant info, and the older generation, still loyal to print…and how to make both profitable while complimenting each other!

Tony Glover writes this for The National:

Publishers put future at fingertips with iPad papers

Business moguls such as Rupert Murdoch and Sir Richard Branson are developing newspapers and magazines that can be viewed only online on the Apple iPad. This move to entirely digital newspaper publishing could herald a global expansion of online publishing in regions such as the Middle East, which have a growing thirst for local content.

Mr Murdoch, the chairman of News Corp, is reported to be planning a daily digital iNewspaper to launch on the iPad, which it is understood will be called The Daily. He is believed to have a staff of 100 in place in New York to run the newspaper. The absence of printing costs means The Daily is expected to retail at only 99 cents a week. The project follows Mr Murdoch’s move to make the digital versions of the UK’s The Times and The Sunday Times pay-only websites.

But The Daily has already attracted criticism from rivals who say that a staff of 100 is too small to produce a credible daily newspaper. However, some of Mr Murdoch’s rivals, such as Sir Richard, are trying to leapfrog News Corp by publishing offerings of their own, with Virgin expected to unveil an iPad magazine in New York this week.

Newspaper publishers are becoming convinced that iNewspapers on devices such as the iPad will gradually come to replace print. Many of the world’s leading publications are also developing versions of their publications specifically for the iPad. The Economist, for example, has an iPad application and, like other digital publishers, considers these new internet devices as ideal for winning market share in regions such as the Middle East, where print distribution can be expensive.

Sanjay Gohil, the iPad production editor at the Financial Times, says: “The iPad is a lot more nimble and quick than traditional PCs and allows you to download electronic newspapers and read them later, when you are without an internet connection.”

He says the iPad allows online newspapers to become multimedia products, offering video and audio clips in addition to print and stills photography.

Read and learn more


Market Intelligence for the Professional Publishing Industry

In the digital publishing age a balance needs to be created between the customers’ desire for immediate accessability at any time to enriched text (enhanced with audio, video, three-dimensional objects, full text searching, note taking, etc) and “…publishers’ needs for financial self-sustainability.”

We are at the age where researchers can access works in the form of e-books that are accessable at any time and any place and never go out of print!

This is heavy neatness to the extreme. Publishing and content are moving at warp speed!

Simba Information, publishing and media intelligence and analysis, has outlined a report that exemplifies the ongoing depth of analysis required in this transition time in the publishing industry:

Professional Publishing in the Digital Age: E-Books in Libraries

Electronic books offer creative possibilities for expanding access as well as changing learning behavior and academic research. Content can always be accessible, regardless of time or place, to be read on PCs or on portable book readers. Books need never go out of print, and new editions can be easily created. One can carry several titles at once on a portable reader and, over time, build a personal library.

Professional Publishing in the Digital Age: E-Books in Libraries examines how libraries are turning to e-books to strike a balance between patrons’ demands for openness and convenience and publishers’ needs for financial self-sustainability.

Features such as full text searching, changeable font size, mark-up, citation creation, and note taking are enhancing usability. Print text can be integrated with multi-dimensional objects, sound, and film to create a whole new kind of monographic work.

The report examines questions such as:

– What happens to e-book usage when barriers to inconvenience are removed?
– When patrons can have easy access to scholarly e-books, what does their usage look like and what does this predict   for the future of these types of resources?
– Are these innovative models more or less fiscally sound than their traditional counterparts?
– What will make e-books a viable part of academic library collections?
– What features, rights, business models, hardware and software standards are needed to meet the goals of large academic library systems to support open scholarly exchange?

 Read and learn more


Apple Overtakes Microsoft ??

Filed under: Apple,Apple and Microsoft capitalization,iPad,iPhone,iPod,Microsoft — gator1965 @ 2:18 pm

Apple finally is worth a tad more than Microsoft…primarily due to the iPod, iPhone and iPad…

Does anyone really give a damn?…I mean, I don’t care as long as both companies keep on the edge of discovery and innovation to bring the best experience to their customers…They do this and they will continue in success.

Interesting notes on the capitalization of these two companies by Sharon Chan, Seattle Times technology reporter:

It was the day a million iPads trumped a billion PCs.

On Wednesday, Apple passed Microsoft to become the world’s most valuable technology company based on market capitalization.

While the two may end up trading positions for weeks and months to come, the unseating of the Redmond software giant captures the rise of consumer gadgets over workhorse corporate software.

Microsoft continually has dismissed Apple for its single-digit percentage of the PC market. With the launch of the iPod, iPhone and iPad, however, the Cupertino, Calif.-based company has continually dazzled Wall Street traders with the new, new thing.

Traders appear somewhat bored by Windows and Office, even if the software continues to rake in billions of dollars.

As Roger Sterling said in the TV show “Mad Men” about ad accounts, “Old business is just old business.”

Microsoft stock fell 4 percent Wednesday to close at $25.01, which figures out to a market capitalization of $219.1 billion. Apple stock fell 0.5 percent to close at $244.11, giving the company a market capitalization of $222.1 billion.

Market capitalization is the share price times outstanding shares, a common measure of how much the stock market values a company.

“It’s mostly symbolic,” said Matt Rosoff, analyst at Directions on Microsoft, an independent research firm in Kirkland. “Apple built a lot of new businesses; they’ve been able to be successful in those businesses. They also started from a smaller base.”

To compare the two company’s financial performance, Microsoft had $14.6 billion in profit on $58.4 billion in sales in fiscal 2009. It says 1 billion people use Windows.

Apple had a profit of $5.7 billion on $36.5 billion in sales in fiscal 2009.

Microsoft is trading at a stock price 12.83 times earnings, also known as a price-to-earnings ratio. Apple’s stock is trading at 24 times earnings.

The wide gap is a sign of Wall Street’s faith in Apple’s future potential earnings and that its stock will continue to leap and bound.

Microsoft’s price-to-earnings ratio represents the sentiment that the company has less room to grow.

“Microsoft has a slightly slower growth profile that’s reflected in the valuation,” said Sid Parakh, analyst at McAdams Wright Ragen. His 12-month price target for Microsoft is $38 a share.

The drop in Microsoft’s stock comes on the heels of Tuesday’s news that two video-game veterans are leaving the company. Robbie Bach, president of the Entertainment and Devices division, is retiring, and J Allard, a senior vice president in the division, is leaving but will remain a consultant for Chief Executive Steve Ballmer.

The company’s stock had been dropping through May after trading near a 12-month high in April.

Apple and CEO Steve Jobs have been riding a high, launching the iPad tablet device in April and selling 1 million units since. The iPad represents a triumph of sorts over Microsoft, which had the head start many years ago with its work on tablet PCs.

Going back over the past decade, though, Microsoft’s stock has hovered between $24 and $34 a share, while Apple’s stock has risen from less than $10 to more than $200 a share.

In 1997, Microsoft stepped in to help Apple with a $150 million investment, when its rival was trading at $7 a share.

“Microsoft stock price has pingponged for the past 10 years. It hasn’t really gone up or down,” Rosoff said. “Apple’s has gone up significantly.”

Analysts say the market capitalization will not fundamentally change how Microsoft will do business. The company declined to comment, but executives have said in the past that all they can do is focus on execution, not the stock market.

“I don’t think the notion of their market cap being slightly lower than Apple’s is going to fundamentally drive how they run that business,” Parakh said.

The only thing Microsoft can do is to make products that consumers like, such as Windows 7, he said. “Clearly it just boils down to long-term strategy execution.”

Update 11:41 a.m.:

The gap had narrowed again as of mid-day Thursday.

Microsoft stock is up a few percentage points in intraday trading to $26 per share, pushing its market capitalization up to $228 billion and closing the gap with Apple. Shares of apple were also up a few percentage points to around $252, making its market capitalization $229.4 billion.

Sharon Pian Chan: 206-464-2958 or Follow me on Twitter @sharonpianchan


Analysts Ask if the iPad Can Live Up to Its Hype

Filed under: Apple stock,iPad,iPad projected sales,iPhone — gator1965 @ 4:38 pm

Can the iPad add value and worth to the Apple stock when it is offered for sale in five more days on the 3rd of April ? Will there be a place and demand for the iPad between, say, the already hugely successful Apple iPhone and the various tablet computers? Not to mention the iPods, etc, etc, etc…

Brad Stone of the New York Times drills down into the numbers through interviews with investment analysts and tech experts and gives us a slam-bang peek at likely sales figures and stock growth prices:

When the Apple iPad goes on sale on Saturday, most of the major questions surrounding the device will have been answered, save for one: can it live up to the hype?

Apple fans have breathlessly awaited Apple’s entry into the tablet computer market. Since the company unveiled the iPad in late January, investors have jumped on the bandwagon, too, running up Apple’s stock more than 10 percent.

Part of that rise can be attributed to the steady rise in sales of the iPhone and the company’s Mac computers. But much of it clearly has to do with tablet fever. On the day this month when Apple made the completely unsurprising announcement that the iPad would go on sale on April 3, the stock jumped nearly 4 percent.

Expectations are clearly high. Now the iPad has to meet them.

Apple has given no public indication of what kinds of sales it expects, or what may constitute success. But at the iPad introduction in January, Steven P. Jobs, Apple’s chief executive, implicitly set a lofty standard. He said the iPad would offer an experience that was superior to that of netbooks, a rapidly growing category of inexpensive and lightweight laptops that accounted for $11 billion in global sales last year.

He also said that the 75 million people who own iPhones and iPod Touches already knew how to use the iPad, which uses the same operating system and touch-screen interface.

But analysts and investors are searching for their own ways to judge the iPad over the short and long term. Their projections vary, but many Apple analysts seem to think the company will sell around a million iPads by the end of its quarter in June, and around 5 million by the end of 2010.

Analysts acknowledge that a certain amount of guesswork goes into those projections, in part because it is not yet clear what kinds of applications and content will be available for the iPad from media companies and outside developers.

“The reality for the iPad is going to be determined by what apps are made for it,” said Gene Munster, an analyst at Piper Jaffray. “People are debating the use case for it, and the use case will be largely determined by the apps. A lot of people are still on the fence whether this is a legitimate market or not.”

There are other variables at work. For example, it appears the iPad will initially be available only in Apple’s stores and at Best Buy. How quickly will Apple begin selling it through other retailers, and in countries other than the 10 it named this year?

Will Apple allow American wireless carriers other than AT&T, like Verizon, to offer data plans for the 3G version of the device? And how quickly might Apple lower the iPad’s price, or introduce models with new features like a built-in camera?

In considering how the iPad may affect Apple, analysts must also navigate the fuzzy topic known as cannibalization. Consumers who spend $499 for the cheapest iPad model might be buying it in lieu of a $999 MacBook laptop or, more likely, a $199 iPod Touch.

Many analysts are looking to historical precedent to gauge the iPad’s prospects in the market. Back in 2001, iPod sales started out slowly; Apple sold only 372,000 of them in its first year, then around a million in the second, after the opening of the iTunes Store.

After the iPhone’s introduction in 2007, which inspired a similar media frenzy, Apple sold 1.4 million handsets in its first two quarters, and then 6.1 million during its entire first year.

But the iPhone may be a poor example: people were already comfortable buying cellphones. Few people have ever owned a tablet computer. The iPad is something almost entirely new to most consumers, more akin to, say, the Kindle from or the Apple TV set-top box. Those devices each sold less than a million units in their first year.

Achieving the mass-market penetration — and cultural impact — of the iPod and iPhone is ultimately Apple’s biggest challenge with the iPad. “They are going to need to target mainstream users who might otherwise decide to purchase an e-book reader or a netbook,” said Michael Abramsky, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets. “If they are successful in starting to convince those kinds of folks, and getting beyond the early adopters who will line up for anything, then it has the potential to blossom.”

But even in those best-case situations, the iPad most likely will not change Apple’s overall financial picture anytime soon. A. M. Sacconaghi Jr., an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Company, predicts that the iPad could contribute about 28 cents a share to Apple’s bottom line in its first full year of sales. The iPhone, by contrast, is responsible for about $8 of earnings a share.

“It’s going to be pretty small from a financial impact initially, but the range of ultimate outcomes for the iPad is pretty big,” Mr. Sacconaghi said.

Investors are also trying to keep their expectations grounded. Erick Maronak, chief investment officer for the $1.2 billion Victory Large Cap Growth Fund, which counts Apple as its biggest holding, said he was looking forward to the iPad — but still banking on the iPhone.

The iPad “is yet another example of how the innovation with Apple continues, and that they have not grown complacent,” Mr. Maronak said. “But the much bigger driver is that this is going to be a pretty big year for the iPhone.”

All the iPad and iPhone optimism leaves many analysts and investors wondering what, exactly, disappointment might look like for Apple. If Apple sells only half a million iPads during the next two months, or less than 2 million by the end of September, it could conceivably damage the company’s stellar reputation with Wall Street — and Mr. Jobs’s air of infallibility in selecting and entering new markets.

“There’s always a risk,” said Charles Wolf, an analyst at Needham & Company, who points to past Apple failures like the Mac Cube and Apple TV, but nonetheless believes that the iPad will sell briskly.

If the iPad does fail to sell, “it could impact the stock,” Mr. Wolf said. “But I doubt it would be the end of the world.”


I-Pad Needs Media Deals

Filed under: iPad,iPad apps,iPhone — gator1965 @ 8:57 pm

The iPad is much more than an iPhone that won’t fit into your pocket…and David Carr of the New York Times explains this well in his article today:

Short of landing in a flying saucer and having a tablet teleported into his hands, there was no way that Steve Jobs could have lived up to the hype before last Wednesday’s iPad announcement.

But he came pretty close. By the time the bells, whooshes and clicks died down, I couldn’t say the future had arrived, but I’m pretty sure we can see it from here.

“It was like someone came back from five years into the future and handed this to us,” said John Gruber of Daring Fireball, a respected tech blog.

The iPad’s promise was hinted at before Mr. Jobs hit the stage. The set was dominated by a large, comfy chair. Since the birth of the personal computer, we have been hunched over, squinting at screens — great big terminals, laptop displays, tiny screens on PDAs. With the iPad, the screen has come to us as we lean back in ease.

Critics who suggested that Apple unveiled little more than an iPhone that won’t fit in your pocket don’t seem to understand that by scaling the iPhone experience, the iPad becomes a different species. Media companies now have a new platform that presents content in an intimate way.

“Looking at it through the lens of whether or not it has new features and applications misses the point,” said Craig Moffett, an analyst at Bernstein Research. “It is nine times larger than an iPhone, and that is fundamentally a new application.”

That application isn’t work, not without a keyboard (touch-typing with all fingers on a virtual keyboard is miserable) or a camera. This is a device for consuming media, not creating it. So are the media providers ready to deliver?

Yes and, sadly, no….Read more

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