Welcome to Printing Industry News Digest (PIND) issue 105, providing a summary of major news items from the printing, publishing, packaging, digital, and communications technology sectors. PIND incorporates brief summaries and links to the week’s key news stories so that you can look up that all important detail, digging deeper behind the headline.
Further to our recent preview mentions in PIND, the Google Nexus 7 is now shipping, and further to our previously publicly stated aim to avoid the temptation of placing an order, we failed miserably and are now the proud owners of one of these new and most exciting 7-inch tablet devices.
Our positive comments: it’s smart, and very well presented (packed almost as well as an Apple product); the hardware is high-quality; the software is slick and speedy; and overall it has banished our previously stated apathy towards the 7-inch form factor. The slip-in-your-jacket-pocket size has pluses. A 10-inch tablet is certainly not that portable, and the 7-inch screen size does make the web more readable than on a phone. Google designed hardware with the very latest Google built operating system (Android Jelly Bean, or 4.1), and Google’s own Chrome browser for Android, all work extremely well together. This is Android as it should be. And it’s useful.
Our negative comments: currently no external storage capability (could be useful for films / video); no support for Flash, so your BBC news video’s or iPlayer visits are a no-go (argue that this is a BBC problem if you like); no 3G option, so it’s wi-fi or nothing. In short, it’s not perfect, but then for £159.00 [for the 8Gb version] minus £15 worth of free Google Play voucher = £144.00, it is still tremendous value for money, and we say that is putting it very mildly! It’s a bargain. [NB: the 16Gb version has now officially sold out, but you can set a reminder on the Play store for when stocks are replenished.]
Further impact of the Nexus 7 can be seen in Engadget’s latest tablet buyer’s guide, where it makes two appearances.
Moving off in another direction, the Guardian appears to be passing round the hat for the poor beleaguered newsagent, suggesting that some 10 independent newsagents per week are going out of business. It also suggests that you are not helping by buying your news from the wrong place, such as the supermarket or the garage. They appear to be missing the point by a country mile: you are not buying your news in printed format anymore, and why would you. The times they are a changing . . . ! Meanwhile GNM has slashed 100 more jobs as year-on-year sales drop another 10.7% according to PrintWeek.
Even in-flight magazines could be on their way out. Qantas has detailed this week how handing out iPad’s – even in Economy Class – is a cost saving measure when their weight is compared to the built-in video viewing hardware that has been used.
Some really interesting numbers to compare in the world of the computer heavyweights: Microsoft announced Q4 revenues of $18.06 billion, with a $492 million loss; Google announced Q2 revenues of $12.21 billion, with a $2.79 billion profit.
With a very late attempt to get a positive print story in this edition of PIND, we were very pleased to attend PrintWeek’s Power 100 event this last week, held at the most splendid Stationers’ Hall in central London, where the great and good of the UK industry were gathered for the great reveal of the 2012 listing.
Back in newspaper world, WRH Marketing has installed kit at the Telegraph to put sticky notes on the front of the paper. First one went out last weekend. Results expected soon!
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Issue 103: Developments in printed electronics
Issue 102: British banking
Issue 101: Microsoft Surface