By Hannah Johnson
As reported in the New York Times on Monday, Apple has sold 2 million iPads over the course of 60 days. First available only in the United States only, iPads were shipped over the weekend to Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the UK.
It’s hard to believe that the iPad has only been on the market for 60 days, maybe because we were talking about it long before that. Developers and companies lining up to get their applications ready for the big touch screen. But has the iPad really been a game-changer for reading and publishing?
My guess is that if there is a big change, it probably goes beyond mere e-book sales in Apple’s iBookstore.
Maybe what the iPad brings is a higher comfort level among consumers to read books digitally, and to expect more digital features in their content.
Perhaps the value lies in the connectivity of the device. The iPad’s Internet connection could mean a greater level of communication between authors and readers, publishers and readers, during and after the reading process.
Or it could be the ease with which book content can be transformed into other applications for an iPad: games, resources, communities, spin-off content, etc. Applications can allow book content to extend far beyond the page and right into the hands of new readers.
I guess it’s up to all of us to decide exactly how the iPad will change the game in publishing.