The Guardian: Apple iPad 'won't change newspaper publishing'

Guardian - would consider charging for iPad app
Guardian - would consider charging for iPad app

The Apple iPad launch (read our Hands on: iPad review) in San Francisco this week was watched with nervous anticipation by the whole of the publishing world, hoping the Jobs and co had created something which could give the industry a much-needed shot in the arm.

To get a UK perspective of what the iPad - and tablets in general - mean to the UK publishing sector, TechRadar spoke to Janine Gibson, Editor of about the device and asked her what she really thought about Apple's tablet and, if any, what plans the Guardian had regarding the device.

TechRadar: What are the Guardian's first impressions of the Apple iPad?

Janine Gibson: I think, like everybody, that it doesn't live up to the massive expectations. We expected something more multi-functional from them, as that is what we have come to expect from Apple since the iPhone.

There had been a lot of discussion about what it could potentially do, so everybody was quite surprised by what is a relatively simple device.

TR: Is the device a game-changer for the newspaper industry?

JG: Personally, I'm a bit sceptical that any one device at this point could be a game-changer.

But the thing Apple has done is set the direction of travel and set the expectations for the tablet market, rather than [the iPad] being the answer to life, the universe and everything.

It is not going to transform newspaper or magazine publishing in itself, but what it will do is set about the idea of tablets to consumers.

TR: Will we see an iPad version of the Guardian?

JG: We're not overly locked in on being first on anything, we'd rather be best. So, for instance, our iPhone app we took our time with and made sure it was absolutely the best in class and worth the money. And that is a strategy that has really paid off for us.

The strategy for the tablets so far, and obviously it is early days, is that we create something which is the best thing possible.

The Guardian wants to be everywhere, on all devices, but we do need to figure out how this is going to make a better experience for our readers before we commit to anything.

We have the iPhone app and that is a fantastic start for us. We wanted that app to be a complete leap forward and that is what we would want to do with the Guardian on a tablet.

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.