The Tribune Company Developing Free Tablet to Compete With the iPad

Learning a valuable lesson from the music industry, newspapers and magazines have been trying to figure out way not to hand their lives over to Steve Jobs. The newest trend is offering free tablets with subscriptions to their publications. The Tribune Company, who owns newspapers like the Los Angeles TimesĀ and The Baltimore Sun, is looking to develop their own tablet to compete with the iPad.

Free tablet

The Tribune has been working on a possible promotion where new subscribers to any of their papers can receive a free or discounted tablet. For this to happen, they will need to team up with a manufacturer, like Samsung, and a cellular carrier.

CNN writes that the "tablet is expected to run a modified version of Google's Android operating system and prominently feature software for the owner's hometown newspaper." However, developing the device turned out harder than anticipated and progress has been met with some delays.

"They're having to reinvent many wheels," said a person familiar with the matter. "If it turns out to be a failure, it'll be a fantastically interesting failure."

The Tribune offers a variety of free apps for the iPad and current smartphones, but developing their own device will allow them to keep 100 percent of their subscription and advertising sales.

It sounds like a crazy idea, but I have to admit, getting a free tablet for the price of a newspaper subscription does sound tempting. I wonder how long you will have to sign your life away?

[via CNN]

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