I don't consider myself an Apple Fanboy, I'm definitely closer to a Google Fanboy, but I have to admit I'm kind of excited at the prospect of Apple's Tablet. Why? I think a slimmer version of my laptop will make it much easier for me to read books, newspapers, and magazines; plus I'm willing to bet that the idiots that run the newspaper industry will view Apple's tablet as the last ditch effort to save their industry and put some effort behind it.
Personally, I ditched almost all of my newspaper subscriptions primarily because of the waste of paper and the lack of timely news, relying on the internet for information. However, I do miss the ability to thumb through a paper and with the outside chance that Apple can make newspapers interactive I think it may breathe life into their currently bad business model. Up until recently newspapers were hoping for federal government bailout, but with everything else going on in Washington there is no way anyone would stomach such a terrible idea.
Even subscription marketing scams like the one the Star Ledger tried to slip by me, isn't helping them. And, as their paper subscription and sales volume falls so do their advertising dollars which was already decimated by eBay and Craig's List, plus the smart marketers who already abandoned them for their lack of tracking and their lack of creativity.
Up until a possible Apple Tablet launch, newspapers were trying to replace their declining offline revenues with online advertising. However, the online dollars weren't large enough to cover their bloated payrolls and paper production, so of course they turned to Google. First they relied on Google to help them with their sales model, but even Google once in a while flops as is the case with Google Print Ads; Google was trying to keep their content farms alive. Next, Google continued to make improvements with Google News and then Google offered some tough love as to how these newspapers should change their business model to stop whining about all of that great traffic that Google sends them. However, the significant traffic Google sends them coupled with using Google to backfill unsold inventory still wasn't enough to save them.
Now instead of turning to Yahoo or MSN to fight Google (neither which can), they now potentially have a savior in Apple who can breathe life into their ancient and outdated product; plus they are a formidable competitor to Google. An Apple Tablet with interactiveness and flashy graphics might bring back subscriptions. Also, old school agencies actually might be able to start convincing marketers to start to buy ads in newspapers again. Plus, a Tablet might actually be retro cool as all of us 40+ year olds who actually grew up with paper can be cool reading the news again.
As much as I love my iPhone it is hard to read news stories and books on it. The screen is just a tad bit small, but a Tablet might just be able to bridge the gap and give the newspapers an answer to declining revenues that doesn't rely heavily on Google. I think it actually might work.
P.S. Here's an interesting article in PC World that actually goes into more detail my lines of thinking regarding Tablet rescuing newspapers.