Want another reason why the newspaper industry is going down the tubes? How about this: the owner of the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times wants to create an Android-powered tablet for its subscribers. The device, reportedly to be manufactured by Samsung, is expected to miss a mid-August deadline.
The device, an idea of Tribune Co. CEO and DirecTV founder Eddy Hartenstein, would either be offered free or at a low subsidized cost to newspaper subscribers. The tablets would offer apps for your hometown newspaper, according to sources who spoke with CNN.
The project was supposed to begin tests in Chicago and Southern California in mid-August, but delays have already set in. In a telling comment, one insider said: “If it turns out to be a failure, it will be a fantastically interesting failure.” Another source commented: “I would be shocked if it was successful.”
This comes as the Tribune Co. cuts staff, trims facilities and remains in bankruptcy court.
The Tribune Co. already has an iPad app, a program for Windows tablets and phones, as well as the Android-based Samsung Tab. In Philadelphia, discounted Android tablets that display the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News are expected to enter limited trials in September.