My iPad won’t carry my chips!

Gadget and Gizmo Geeks everywhere are abuzz this week as Amazon launch the latest version of their e-reader, Kindle, in the UK. Coming only a few months after the monstrous launch of Apple’s latest phenomenon: the iPad, I think we may have a fight on our hands… Constantly challenged, technology giant Apple are being put on trial again as the Amazon Kindle promises to not only have the largest selection of book titles available, but also to be the cheapest supplier of e-books on the market, outsmarting the uber-shop that is the iTunes store.

But how has this flooding of the gadget market, offering the chance to read books, papers and magazines online and on the go, affected the humble newspaper rag and mag? Will The Times and The Guardian be relegated to the local chippie and used only for absorbing grease on a Friday night?

I’m not sure the answer is as doom and gloom as you may have anticipated. Take for example the introduction of a paywall on the Times Online asking for £2 a week for daily news content. The result? A 90% reduction of readers. However, research revealed these same readers were still prepared to dish out pennies for buying the real thing, and according to a poll, 72% of readers are enjoying their daily newspaper reading experience. Not only this, but 70 percent of 18-34* year-olds (32 million) read a newspaper during the week and 21 million read a newspaper on Sunday. Does this sound like news in print is on a death spiral? (*Apple & Amazon, please note that this is the very same target demographic you need splashing the cash on iPad’s and Kindle’s…)

A lot of people who know and appreciate the nature of PR think us PRO’s have it easy, starting our day with a cup of coffee and a flick through the day’s newspapers and the weekly celeb mags. But this happy tradition isn’t about enriching our minds and easing ourselves into a day of work, it is essential for us to have a grasp on the daily events around the world to help with campaigns, give a head’s up to a crisis and just make us commercially aware. Starting up a laptop and being confronted by a gazillian e-mails will inevitably distract us from scouring and the Sun online.

All of this to digest – and now today a poll of 20,000 consumers has found that the typical owner of the iPad is seen as power-hungry and has little time for the concerns of others. According to those polled, the image of someone who owns an iPad is of a selfish workaholic between 30 and 50 who has an unhealthy interest in making lots of money. Hmm….in this case, I may remove the device from my Christmas list in favour a subscription to the Daily Mail!

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