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Apple Introduces Safari Reader To Promote Newsstand?

One feature in Safari, that was announced yesterday by Steve Jobs at the Apple WWDC Keynote, likely to make a lot of publishers uncomfortable, is the new Reader that ironically has been launched at the same time as Newsstand.

Mobile Safari is one of the more popular mobile browsers worldwide and the fact that it will now incorporate a feature that "gets all the clutter out of the way and sets the right font size on a web page, so you can easily scroll and read through a story" might be useful for the end user but it may drive publishers, big and small, to the ground.

Publishing good quality content doesn't come cheap, and for decades publishers have been relying on advertising in order to finance their operations. By calling advertising "clutter" and promising to eliminate it completely, Apple could push already embattled publishers over the edge especially if others, like Mozilla or Google choose to emulate it.

As expected, Apple has a solution ready in the form of a new service called Newsstand which puts newspaper and magazine subscriptions into one place. Could Apple use Safari to weed out existing publishers and encourage them to adopt Newsstand? Don't forget that Apple collects 30 per cent of the revenues at source as well as collecting user subscription details AND credit card details.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.