Magazine people seem to divide into two, neat camps: those who look at tablets as the devil's work; and those who think they will be the salvation of their publications (and a great way to serve readers, to boot).
We think both camps will be interested, for their own reasons, in the announcement today of the Kindle Fire, Amazon's tablet that may give Apple a run for its iPad. It was reported in a post by Folio:.
The 7-inch Fire has already signed on some of the big U.S. publishers. It will be selling for about US$199, which is $300 cheaper than the cheapest iPad, and it will run Google's Android software. It will have wireless access, but not 3G. The split between Amazon and publishers is 30:70.
While the new product does afford the user a 30-day free trial of Amazon Prime, a service that gives free shipping on Amazon orders and free live streaming of video, there is no camera on the new Kindle Fire. The company's traditional e-reader, the Kindle, will now drop to $79 in price and Amazon is expected to release a touch screen version of the Kindle this November, according to several reports.
The Folio: story reports that Hearst magazines, including its former Hachette titles, now has surpassed 300,000 monthly digital subscriptions and single copy sales on tablets and e-readers (this includes multiple platforms such as iTunes, Barnes and Noble's NOOK and the Zinio newsstand.) ABC data reports that Cosmopolitan has 81,690 paid subs to digital replica editions as of June, Popular Mechanics 21,725, Esquire 20,997, O: The Oprah Magazine 12,567 and the Food Network Magazine 10,554.