Apple working on 'iTunes for newspapers'
Apple, the computer giant that revolutionised music with its iTunes digital music store, is preparing to launch a similar service for newspapers.
The Californian company is believed to have created a new application for its iPad device that will allow users to download a wide selection of electronic newspapers.
The new service, which is likely to be called iNewspaper, is said to be similar to iBooks, Apple's current electronic book store.
The virtual newsagent will be separate from Apple's App Store, where special iPad versions of some newspapers can already be downloaded.
It is thought that Apple has created the new service so that users can access a wide range of newspapers in one place, rather than having to flip between different dedicated apps.
Apple is believed to have created a suite of software to make it easier and cheaper for publishers to create attractive digital versions of newspapers and magazines, with high-resolution photos and videos integrated into articles.
The computer company hopes the new service, which will initially only be available in the US, will help boost the appeal of the iPad, which has so far only really appealed to technology enthusiasts.
Apple is locked in negotiations with publishers, over how big a cut the iPad creator will take from each subscription. Publishers are understood to be balking at the 30pc level that Apple currently takes from music, games and other application sales.
It is understood that Apple will not allow newspapers to collect subscription revenues for newspapers that available for free online. There is also debate about whether Apple or the publisher will have control of user's details.
Ben Wood, an analyst at CCS Insight, said: "It is becoming increasingly clear that Apple is the leader of the pack to get content owners to invest in digital content."
Apple refused to comment.