It seems ironic that this device forces the imagination to consider all of the applications that the iPad is not initially intended to do - and yet clearly could and will be able to achieve in a short window of time.

I agree that part of the genius is the entry price level. Buy it now, play with it, learn fringe applications, give it to your mother-in-law, and buy the more robust version... each year, if need be.

I wrote an article last year hypothesizing a new business model following the wholesale magazine distributor pricing dispute, i.e. a viable color electronic distribution tool would send them to the happy hunting grounds alongside and almost as quickly as the printed encyclopedia.

It's natural to assume a negative impact on Quad and all mag printers since that is in this week's news; however, the entity whose ship is running aground with this potential distribution easement is the USPS.

While First Class is their cash cow, standard mail and particularly mags and catalogs are their literal backbone.

It will be interesting to see what new business model they discuss in Nashville at the National Postal Forum. If PMG Potter ignores or downplays the iPad issue, that will say a lot.

The exclusive with AT&T may seem like a disappointment, but all telecoms will naturally get in on this one before long.

I advise my printer clients to get on board, buy one, and experiment to see what impact it could have on improving communications with your clients.

C. Clint Bolte is Principle of Consultants to the Printing Industry, 809 Philadelphia Avenue, Chambersburg, PA 17201-1268. For more information, contact him at or 717.263.5768, or visit