The Times, they are a-changin’ -- their business model, that is. The venerable British publication is offering a new digital subscription package which bundles a steeply discounted
Nexus 7 tablet computer along with an 18-month subscription to the newspaper.
The new subscription offer includes a 32 GB Nexus 7 tablet for £50, or about $80.50, compared to a retail price of £200, or roughly $322. The 18-month digital subscription costs £17.33 (or $28) per month, if paid on a monthly basis, for a total price of £362 or $583; if purchased all at once, the “Digital Pack” subscription costs £299 or $482.
The Times issued a new, updated version of its Android app in November.
The Times isn’t the first publisher or retailer to offer newspaper subscriptions bundled with devices. Barnes & Noble offered a one-year digital subscription to The New York Times with various Nook devices, and last year the Philadelphia Media Group, which publishes The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News, revealed plans to market a relatively cheap tablet-style reader using Google's Android operating system to readers.
In November, NPD DisplaySearch, which tracks consumer electronics trends, predicted that 80 million tablets will be sold in 2013 in North America, compared to 63.8 million laptops. NPD attributed this surge in part to strong demand for cheaper tablet models, around the $199 price point, from Apple, Google, and Amazon.
According to Pew, around 25% of U.S. adults owned a tablet computer in July. That's up from 19% in January 2012 and 5% in November 2010.