The Rise of the iPad: How Teens Are Responding

16 Jul

image from popsci.com

On March 5th 2010 Apple released a new product, the iPad.  Leading up to its big release, there was lots of chatter and speculation as to whether this device would be as popular as Amazon’s Kindle and how it would affect various newspaper and magazine industries.

The Kindle was first to the market, and its inventors tried to sell books on it for approximately ten dollars each, trying to make these e-books cheaper than the average hard copy book as part of their business plan.  However, it turned out that publishers weren’t making a lot of money from the Kindle.  In late 2009, the Kindle was challenged by an e-reader from Barnes & Noble called the  “Nook,” which offered similar but even more appealing innovations than the Kindle, and slowly started to harm the Kindle’s business.

Now with Apple’s latest technology splash, the iPad, the Kindle is becoming rapidly less popular.  The iPad is selling much faster than the Kindle, putting enormous pressure on the Kindle.  In addition to its many apps and features similar to a computer, one of the iPad’s many strong attractions over the Kindle is that it is in color, while the Kindle is in black and white.  There is much speculation that it is only a matter of time before the iPad finishes off the Kindle.

There is a popular theory that the iPad could potentially save the newspaper industry.  Is this possible?  Several newspaper publishers have become interested in releasing their newspapers on the iPad.  Newspapers such as The New York Times would be able to include videos, interactive advertising, hyperlinks and other features as part of their articles on the iPad.  They are working towards a method of selling iPad subscriptions.

Four months after the iPad’s big release, I conducted a survey of teenagers to see how popular the iPad really is, and if it living up to its hype.  As part of the rise of technology in context with the newspaper and magazine industries, I also asked in the survey how many teens and young adults still read magazines and newspapers that are paper, and how they actually get most of their news.

When I asked 32 people from the ages of 15-25 if they owned a Kindle, Nook or iPad, one person said they owned a nook, one person owned a Kindle, two people owned an iPad, and two people said someone in their family owned an iPad.  Although few of these teens own an iPad, the ones that do love them. 6 of the 32 people said that they only read newspapers online.  Although the majority of these teens still read hard copies of newspapers and magazines, many of them claimed to find most of their news on the internet.  Some teens also said that they get their news from the TV on programs such as CNN, Fox News, or the Daily show.  Based off of the survey, the hard copy magazines and newspapers that still seem to be popular, are The Economist, Time Magazine and The New York Times. One person even said that they listen to the radio for news.  One person in the survey predicted that The New York Times would be online only by 2014.

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