When the iPad was first launched, it was heralded as a strong savior for the fledgling newspaper publishing industry...Along with the magazine industry AND a rescuer of cheap 'e-retailer'- priced ebooks! 

How has the iPad been doing in the past six months since it's launch?

Amy-Mae Elliot, a staff writer for Mashable.com, gives us a good analysis:

Is the iPad Really the Savior of the Newspaper Industry? 

Even before the
iPadwas revealed, analysts, pundits and the publishing industry were already heralding the tablet as the platform that would save the industry from declining readership and dropping revenue.

The iPad’s high-res display, large screen, digital delivery and interactive capabilities were lauded as the next generation of tools that print publishers could use to woo their readers back into the fold.

Now, six months after the iPad’s launch, we thought it would be interesting to take a look at which newspapers have taken advantage of the digital platform, and the state of the market today.

We recently tested the apps ourselvesand spoke with content creators and industry experts to get an overview of where newspaper iPad apps are — and where they might be headed in the future.

Adopting a New Way to Consume News

In order for the general public to consume their daily news on a tablet device, they have to own one. Although great things are promised for the consumer tablet,
recent data from ABI Research suggests that at the current rate of sales, such devices won’t reach what’s considered “mass-market penetration” until 2013.

However, there are enough devices out there to make app building worthwhile. Apple sold 3 million iPads within 80 days of the product’s release in the U.S., with the most recent sales figures (dating back from July) coming in at 3.27 million sold. Wall Street analysts Bernstein Research suggest that the iPad is enjoying the fastest adoption rate of a consumer electronics gadget ever — even overtaking the DVD player and Apple stable-mate the iPhone().

Forecasters at the Harrison Group found that 13% of all American consumers showed “interest” in buying a tablet device between now and next September, with potential sales of up to 15 million units. In fact, some reports suggest that the iPad’s popularity could affect PC and laptop sales figures as consumers opt for the touchscreen tablet over a new netbook or upgrading an old PC.

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