iPhone: Your New Comic Shop?
Ever since the Apple iPhone’s debut, tech-minded comic fans discussed it as the ideal platform to read comics in the 21st century. When your friends talk about it, it’s utopia dreaming. When the suits talk about it — especially if they can make money — it’s a step closer to becoming reality.
A recent Reuters story detailed how the downloadable cell phone comic business could explode in Japan when the Apple iPhone debuts there for the first time on July 11th. Manga have caused the mobile publication market to double in the last year to a $204 million business. The iPhone would allow for even more natural reading of comic pages, with a large screen, the ability to zoom on different panels, and turn pages. The latest version of the iPhone will be cheaper, faster, and most importantly, include 3G technology for faster Internet connections. With an emerging business model already in place and ideal technology being introduced, a "perfect storm" for cell comics could emerge.
If cell phone comics become successful overseas, expect American comics to follow the trend. With print publishing continually under pressure, don’t be surprised if the big four comic publishers in the U.S. start meeting with Apple (if they’re not already) to have digital comics offered in the App Store.
Superman on your iPhone might even make reading comics chic.