Friday, February 19, 2010, 8:44 AM ET|Posted by Will RichmondAs I wrote several weeks ago, I'm skeptical of the new Apple iPad because it seems like an expensive gadget that will be hard to find mainstream buyers given its price points. Nonetheless, I thought it was a really slick device, and this week's demo of Wired magazine running on it reinforces my belief. The Wired demo, like an earlier one for Sports Illustrated, shows very tangibly how revolutionary iPad - and other tablet computers - are for print publishers. The way the editorial and advertising comes to life and readers can engage with it is quite compelling.
Of course, the question still looms, will people pay $500-$800 for all that iPad coolness? Apple itself appears sensitive to the issue, clearly softening the market for possible price reductions soon after the iPad's release if volumes don't materialize. Going out on a limb a little, I for one believe we'll see an approximately $200 price reduction by holiday season '10, if not sooner. The iPad is too important to Apple and Steve Jobs to be allowed to flounder and the coming release of numerous lower-priced tablets from competitors will only add to the pressure on Apple. If iPad prices fall, it could indeed become a game-changer for Wired and other print publishers.
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