What do Apple’s iPhone announcements mean for comics?
If you have a Macintosh or a iPhone, yesterday was a high holy day for you, as Apple’s WWDC Keynote Speech was given yesterday, outlining Apple’s hardware and software plans for the next few months. We’ll let other people such as The Unofficial Apple Weblog cover the full release info and instead concentrate on the items that are going to impact comics the most.
Hardware: Sadly, no one’s announced the iPad yet, that long rumored half-tablet, half-netbook. But a new iPhone was announced, to go along with the over 40 million iPhones and iPod touches that have already been sold to date.
While the price on the new iPhone is a bit hefty, what will interest people is the price drop for the old iPhone– the 8GB iPhone 3G will sell alongside the iPhone 3GS for $99 (with contract, obviously). While not the ideal comics reader, it certainly will continue penetration into the market. Even more, as parents upgrade their own iPhones to the newest models, they’re likely to hand their old ones to their kids as it’s a (comparitively) cheaper upgrade.
Software: iPhone 3.0 releases in a week and a half on June 17, free for iPhone users, $9.95 for iTouch users. Biggest changes for comics fans:
- The App store now has “in app purchasing”. That’s where you can purchase another app or service from within an app. Obvious usage: You get to the end of issue #1 and then immediately buy #2, or other comics which the publisher has thoughtfully linked for you to buy.
- The software will also allow subscriptions to be made on a month-to-month basis. Again, the usage is obvious: subscribe to the latest book, and when it’s ready, it’ll be pushed to your iPhone.
- Parental controls have been improved in iPhone 3.0, which will allow for the sale of more adult content. Again, the implications are huge, as hundreds of independent titles that might have fallen afoul of Apple’s occasionally odd policies for content will now be able to be distributed online.
All in all, a pretty productive update. Expect to see products taking advantage of the relaxed restrictions rolling out from comic publishers shortly after June 17.
If you don’t already own an iPhone, will this make you more likely to buy one? If you’re already using it, will this make it more likely that you’ll read comics on your iPhone? Discuss in comments.