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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Philly papers offering subscribers $99 Android tablet

(Credit: Lance Whitney/CNET)

A Philadelphia newspaper publisher is trying to steer more people to its online editions by offering a $99 Android tablet with a two-year subscription.

Publisher of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News, and, the Philadelphia Media Network (PMN) launched its new promotion today, kicking in 5,000 Arnova 10 G2 tablets on a first-come, first-served basis to people who open up digital subscriptions to both of its newspapers.

Those who sign up for a two-year $9.99-per-month subscription can scoop up the tablet for $99, while those who opt for a one-year subscription at a cost of $12.99 a month will pay $129 for the Android-based device. The digital subscriptions are heavily discounted from their regular prices courtesy of sponsorships from Main Line Health, Comcast, and Wells Fargo, noted PMN.

The Arnova tablet will come packaged with digital or mobile editions of the Inquirer, Daily News, and and include a range of other apps, such as e-mail, a Web browser, the Amazon Appstore, an office suite, and Main Line Health's Wellness program. It also provides apps designed to ferret out local deals and information in the Philly area.

Arnova is a special brand manufactured by tablet maker Archos. Outfitted with Android 2.3 Gingerbread, the Arnova 10 G2 (PDF) is a 10.1-inch tablet with a 1GHz ARM Cortex A8 processor and a 1024x600 pixel display. It includes 4GB of storage space, an integrated 720p Webcam, and support for Adobe Flash.

The partnership between PMN and Arnova is the first of its kind involving a major media company in the U.S., according to the publisher.

"This partnership recognizes that consumers are increasingly utilizing tablets and other highly portable devices for their news, sports, and entertainment needs," PMN Publisher and CEO Gregory Osberg said in a statement. "We intend to utilize a variety of platforms and methods to reach our customers, ranging from to traditional hard copy subscriptions, as well as our new digital subscriptions."

News publisher Tribune Co. is reportedly cooking up a similar deal with Samsung to offer subscribers a free or low-cost Android tablet in exchange for a long-term commitment. That program was initially expected to launch in early August but has been delayed, according to sources from CNN.


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