Apple Inc. on May 28 released its new iPad product in Japan, following up on roaring sales of more than 1 million iPads in under one month from their U.S. release date in April.
Some Japanese newspaper publishers, including the Mainichi Shimbun, the Sankei Shimbun, and the Nikkan Sports, are distributing their content via the iPad tablet computer. Many broadcasting companies are also preparing to target the iPad for delivery of their programs and related content, including news reports.
On May 29, the Mainichi Shimbun launched a digital magazine titled “photoJ.” exclusively for iPad users. PhotoJ is a monthly e-publication that costs 350 yen per issue. It delivers a combination of photographs and original feature articles. Subscribers get access to movies, as well as photo slideshows. The Mainichi also plans to sell ads to appear in the digital magazine. To issue the digital magazine, the Mainichi introduced a cross-media publishing system controlled by WoodWing Software of the Netherlands. The U.S. magazine TIME uses the same software to format and deliver its electronic edition for the iPad.
The Sankei has started issuing an electronic edition of its daily paper for iPad users at a price of 1,500 yen per month. By the end of June, the service will not start charging. By making optimal use of the iPad's vivid color display, the resolution of the page images can be raised much higher than that of the company’s existing service for iPhone users. The Sankei says it plans to continue delivering its free electronic edition for the iPhone as well. The Nikkan Sports has started delivering articles and photographs for the iPad, free of charge. Users can also search the sports daily’s news through articles and photographs viewed on the iPad
Some major broadcasting stations are also following the iPad fad. TV Tokyo, a Tokyo-based major TV network, on May 28 began offering an iPad application that displays a summary of its weekly documentary program “Jounetsu-no-Keifu” (The Genealogy of Passion), which traces the background of contemporary celebrities from various walks of life. The Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS) has developed an iPad application for browsing news while listening to Internet radio channel OTTAVA, which specializes in classical music. That iPad application is due to be released by mid-June. Osaka-based Mainichi Broadcasting System will start delivering its new TV drama “MM9 ? Monster Magnitude,” for the iPad in July. Users will be able to watch the program on the iPad free of charge, at the same time as the program airs on TV.
Not to miss the boat, the Mainichi, the Sports Nippon and the Nishinippon Shimbun have begun providing daily news content for the “Viewn” newspaper and magazine content service. That service for the iPad is operated by a subsidiary of the cellular phone company Softbank Corp, which operates iPhone services in Japan.