Murdoch and gang look beyond iPad for tablet support

As the tablet PC market continues to evolve, major newspaper companies are finally beginning to cotton on to the possibilities that the mobile computing market outside of just the iPad can provide for consuming online newspaper content.

The announcement of the release of the new Android supported Galaxy Tablet from Samsung towards the end of the year has been followed by the New York Times and Rupert Murdoch’s demonic henchmen at News Corp marking their intentions to increase access to their own content online.

So far magazines have rushed to get their content onto the iPad as it was first to market – but they must now look to Android and other operating systems if they are to make paywalls and paid-for content work.

Samsung’s hotly anticipated 7” tablet is to be distributed in US through deals with Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile USA, AT&T and has the potential, if we are to believe the mainstream media’s opinion of any Apple contender, to be an ‘iPad killer’.

It has been announced that News Corp’s Wall Street Journal with be creating software for the new tablet, showing clear intentions from old man Murdoch to continue the online and mobile push of his considerable media empire.

It was noted recently in an Orange report, briefed exclusively to The Guardian, that many UK paper publishers are having to adapt to the changing face of online journalism, whether paid-for or free, calling it a “double edged sword”. Expanding readership of online content with a free system means sales of physical copies are directly affected, and with the advent of increased mobile this is set to continue. It appears that publishers are still currently struggling to successfully position themselves in this growing market.

With the portability and accessibility of the new breed of tablets it appears that Murdoch and co may have found the perfect medium for consuming easily on the train or bus, just as one would likely read a newspaper. Though you’re unlikely to get mugged for a copy of The Times.

It has also been noted that News Corp will explore potential partnership opportunities with RIM for its upcoming tablet which could mean offering free access to Wall Street Journal content according to the mysterious “people familiar with the matter” cited by WSJ.

Executives from Pearsons’ Financial Times are also in talks with tablet manufacturers about working together to offer their own software.

Apple meanwhile seems to have dragged its heels over supporting a dedicated hub for newspapers, which has in turn potentially deterred subscriptions to online content – perhaps the only long term of option for sustainability of online newspapers.

This is supposedly expected to change in the coming months, signalling a race to establish itself, like many others, as a leader in this field.