Murdoch's iPad 'Daily' may be late because of Apple

An iOS refresh will enable launch of the tablet-only news source.

The first iPad-only newspaper from News Corp's Rupert Murdoch has been delayed by a few weeks, according to All Things Digital, a publication owned be the media mogul. Called The Daily, the tablet-exclusive publication was expected to be unveiled next week, but it thta appears software tweaks from Apple at the push subscription iOS feature are holding back the launch.

The Daily will be a full-fledged news operation, with an iPad app as its main output medium. But to do this, Apple needed to create a push subscription option for iOS app makers, in order to deliver the paper to users every day automatically. It is believed this feature will arrive when version 4.3 of iOS becomes publicly available (it's in the hands of developers now).

Peter Kafka reports for All Things Digital that "the delay is supposed to give Apple time to tweak its new subscription service for publications sold through its iTunes platform." Alongside the new subscription model, iOS 4.3 is expected to reintroduce the hardware rotation lock of the tablet, as well as multitouch navigation gestures.

Apple's iOS 4.3 was previously anticipated last December, to coincide with launch date of The Daily. Then the iPad app and iOS 4.3 were expected this week, but only a developer version of the OS is available and The Daily's launch has been pushed back a few weeks as well. Apple's CEO Steve Jobs is expected to take to the stage along Rupert Murdoch to introduce The Daily.

Meanwhile, more details about The Daily are emerging. Users will be able to share stories with their friends outside the app's environment, unlike initial reports. In some graphics uncovered in the code of the The Daily's online pre-launch page, Damon Kiesow of Poynter spotted a "Share Link" option, alongside a graphic dominated screenshots of the app (pictured above).

What Else We Know

  • The publication won't have a newsprint or Web presence (except an advertising site), but it is an app exclusive to the iPad initially, and later on Android tablets.
  • It will be based at News Corp in New York, with no foreign bureaus at launch. It targets general readership, with short and snappy stories. Main competitors are USA Today, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.
  • The Daily's budget is estimated at $30 million, with a staff of around 100, featuring journalists from The New Yorker, The New York Post, AOL, The Atlantic, and The New York Times
  • Subscriptions will cost around $1 per week (compared to WSJ's iPad fee of $4 per week). Murdoch projects readership between 100,000 and 500,000 readers in the first five years.
  • As the name implies, The Daily will post daily original content, including photos and videos.
  • Editorial voice is described as "populist, and tabloid sensibility with a broadsheet intelligence." Opinion pieces will be separate from news.
  • The Daily will be produced into the evening, so the new edition appears in the app in the morning. Stories will be updated, apparently not as fast as on the Web, but on a more selective basis.

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Daniel Ionescu

PC World (US online)

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