National Geographic launches replica app on iPad

National Geographic has launched iPad apps for two of its magazines, offering tablet subscriptions for each at highly discounted rates.

As reported yesterday, digital newsstand Zinio has begun releasing a collection of stand-alone magazine apps that offer an iPad-edition subscription model. Along with Sporting News, National Geographic magazine and National Geographic Traveler are the first publications available on the new platform.

Zinio offers both National Geographic magazines in what it calls an "interactive" format for use on a computer or iPad. National Geographic is priced at $4.99 per issue or $15 for an annual subscription. National Geographic Traveler is available for $3.99 an issue or $10 per year. Both subscription rates are 70 to 80 percent off the standard print cover price.

Todd Ogasawara writes that both magazines are largely not interactive and appear to be simply PDF versions of the print magazines. While he commends the publisher on setting a "reasonable" digital subscription price, he is not a likely customer:

"Am I going to subscribe to National Geographic Magazine on my iPad? No, I will not until it is something more than scanned copies of the paper magazine. I'd rather read text and admire the amazing photos on high quality glossy paper."


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