Apple has already made a sea change in music industry with the introduction of the iPod. A new report claims that Steve Jobs may now be planning to use an oft-rumored Apple tablet to reinvent the world of print media.
Not content just to put out a tablet and try and market it to the masses, Apple may be working with newspapers and textbook companies to distribute traditional print media electronically to a tablet in an attempt to reinvigorate the market. According to Gizmodo, Apple has met with several different newspaper and other media companies, such as The New York Times, about ways to reinvent their businesses.
The report goes on to claim that a version of Apple's OS X software was presented to Steve Jobs running on a multitouch tablet. The problem, however, was that no one at Apple could answer the question, "What would people do with this?" Now it seems that Apple may have some fresh ideas.
Whether newspaper content or textbooks could be distributed through an iTunes Store-like entity isn't really an issue -- Amazon's Kindle has been relatively successful doing something very similar. The pushback is likely to come from readers and students who may not be prepared to give up flipping pages and holding physical objects.
The trick for Apple, then, would be to create a tablet that is compelling to old readers who still enjoy washing newspaper print off their hands in the morning as well as customers who have no problem getting their news on the Web.
Of course, traditional notions or thoughts about what Apple may or may not deliver can usually be thrown out the window. The Cupertino Crew has a history of delivering new products that tend not to look like anything anyone has predicted.
If Apple can deliver a tablet that serves the needs of both the old readers and the new readers then the company has a chance to do to the media industry the same thing it did to the music industry.