Wednesday, March 03, 2010, 11:30 am PT (02:30 pm ET)
WSJ has pre-release iPad kept 'under padlock and key' by AppleApple's legendary secrecy around the iPad continues even though the company formally introduced the hardware over a month ago, as media mogul Rupert Murdoch revealed The Wall Street Journal, in developing an iPad edition, has a pre-release model that is checked in on nightly by the Cupertino, Calif., company.
Murdoch confirmed during a speech in New York on Tuesday that his News Corp. publication will be offered on Apple's forthcoming iPad. According to a report in the Journal, the executive also gave insight into Apple's secretive practices as the paper has had access to a pre-release iPad.
"In fact, we've been allowed to work on one, and it's under padlock and key. The key is turned by Apple every night," Murdoch was quoted as saying. "But we will be on that with The Wall Street Journal."
The Journal and Apple had an iPad-related altercation last month when editor Alan Murray posted to Twitter from the device when Apple co-founder Steve Jobs visited the paper to pitch its e-reader capabilities. That incident reportedly upset Jobs, who was said to be "furious" and allegedly had the editor delete the post. In a subsequent e-mail, Murray would not confirm the incident, but merely said that "Apple's general paranoia about news coverage is truly extraordinary."
The Journal is yet another high-profile publication confirmed for the iPad. At the device's unveiling in January, a New York Times application replicating the daily edition of the paper was prominently featured. And last week, the Associated Press revealed it too is building an app for the iPad based on a subscription model.
How much to charge for content on the iPad and other devices remains a point of contention. While reports have suggested that Times executives cannot agree whether to charge $10 per month or closer to $30 per month, the Journal began charging users of its iPhone application late last year. Murdoch has previously said that News Corp. intends to charge for all of its online news sites, noting that "quality journalism is not cheap."
The executive added Tuesday that he believes the iPad is just the first in a number of devices that many will use to read newspapers on a daily basis. He reportedly said there will be a "half dozen or more" introduced in the next year.
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