Unless you're living under a rock, you probably heard about the announcement from Apple today with their new product, the iPad. There has been a lot of speculation for this new product, as well what it means for the comic book industry. While Apple announced the iPad, which seems to be just an oversized iPhone or iPod Touch, they also announced a new application, called iBooks, which introduces an iTunes like storefront for buying books to read on the iPad.
Steve Jobs never mentioned the words "comic" and "books" together – or graphic novels, or comics, or Marvel Comics, or Disney, or anything related to the comic book industry.
So what does this mean for the comic book industry? Well of course native iPhone apps for reading comics like iVerse, Comixology, and Panelfly will be able to work on the iPad and probably be modified to enhance the reading experience for their applications and most likely the digitial comics platforms like Longbox and Graphic.ly will simply have to build their iPad applications on the same development platform as the iPhone.
Sure there's the chance that they add comics and graphic novels to this new application, iBooks, but as of right now, it's clear this isn't a priority for Apple.
So is the iPad the savior for digital comics? As of today, no. But if you believed it would be, then you were naive. Is there potential for digital comics on the iPad? Sure but it's not the killer app for digitial comics. There's as much potential here as there is for the iPhone, the HP Tablet that was shown at CES and any other device that may come along with similar functionality.
Now that the announcement has been made and we've seen the product, what do you think?