Philadelphia Media Network, owner of the Philadelphia Daily News and The Philadelphia Inquirer, announced Monday that it will be selling discounted Android tablets to paid subscribers.
The tablets will come with four preloaded apps. Two of the apps are digital versions of The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News which will be digital replicas of the print edition, one is a new app for the Inquirer, and one will take you to the two newspapers' shared website, www.philly.com.
Right now, you can get the Philly.com app and digital editions of the Inquirer and the Daily News with a subscription through a free app called press reader, but the additional Inquirer app is still in development and will be releasing along with the tablet. The tablet itself, which the company has not announced a manufacturer for yet, will not be in stores; you'll have to order it through the company.
Although there is no final word on how much it will cost subscribers to take advantage of this offer, which is the first of its kind, CEO Greg Osberg said the tablet and the four apps together would have a discount of 50-percent-off the original tablet price, in a YouTube video by Liliputing. Osberg also said that prospective buyers would have to buy at least a 1 to 2 year subscription in order to qualify.
The tablet will launch with a limited beta release in August before a broader launch in November. The project is part of a larger digital initiative within the company called Project Liberty. As part of the project, the company will be housing a new technology incubator which will be financed with a $250,000 grant from the Knight Foundation. This project will provide four up-and-coming companies with six months of free office space, equipment, and support.
But even with all these digital advancements, the company does not have any plans to do away with print.
"A lot of people ask me, 'how much longer do you think newspapers will exist?'" Osberg said, "I don't have the answer to that. Nobody has the answer to that. The consumer ultimately will determine that."
But don't think this means that you'll be getting the newspaper's content for free. Osberg said he aims to keep the paid content model alive and well.