Update: The tablet price will begin at $99, with a two-year digital subsciption to The Inquirer and Daily News for $9.99 a month, or for $129 with a one-year subsciption of $12.99 a month, according to a press release from Philadelphia Media Inc. The release also detailed the device, which starts rolling out today Sept. 13, with having a 1GHz processor, a 10.1-inch 1024 x 600 multi-touch display and running Android 2.3 Gingerbread.
With the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News set to kick off a tablet integration program Sept. 13, the papers’ publisher, Greg Osberg, has revealed some details of the plan, according to a new report.
Osberg unveiled the plan to sell discounted tablets containing subscriptions to the papers’ digital editions in July, but besides expressing complete confidence in the project, he disclosed only a few details. The tablet the papers will rely on is the Archos Arnova 10G2 Android device. Each tablet will come preloaded with the papers’ three paid apps and access to the dailies’ free site, Philly.com. A tablet equipped with a one-year subscription to the apps will cost $285, which according to Osberg is a 53 percent discount off the retail price of the subs plus the tablet. Those interested in a two-year subscription will pay $339 for the device, a 65 percent discount off the retail price, according to the report.
Archos was the manufacturer of choice for the tablets due to its willingness to customize the tablet’s home screen, according to Osberg. Archos also agreed to let Philadelphia Media Network, the publishing entity that includes the papers and Philly.com, to keep the subscription revenue and customer data, which allows the publisher to study usership.
Initially, Osberg planned to sell 2,000 of the tablets at launch, but now, in a another burst of confidence, the publisher will start out by selling 5,000 tablets. Currently the tablet has three sponsors: Comcast, Wells Fargo and Main Line Health, a regional hospital network. If all goes accordingly Osberg plans to start the second phase the day after Thanksgiving, just in time for the holiday shopping season.