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Rumor: Apple's newspaper subscriptions could debut next month

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Last week the Mercury News reported that Apple is working on plans to sell newspaper subscriptions to iPad owners. Today, a follow-up from the Wall Street Journal suggests that it could launch as early as next month, and will include magazines as well.

While Apple declined to comment, the WSJ's sources note that plans are moving forward, even though publishers are hesitant. Some see Apple's dominance over the online music market as foreboding, while others are leery of Apple's typical 30 percent cut.

Among the reportedly agreeable publishers is Hearst, which owns huge properties like the Oprah Winfrey magazine, Esquire, Cosmo (admit it, you take the quizzes) and The Houston Chronicle, among others. I've used the current Popular Mechanics app, another Hearst product, and love it.

Also in contention is data that publishers use for their marketing efforts, like name, email addresses, subscription histories and more. Apple reportedly doesn't want to turn it over, and publishers want it.

I'm hoping it works out, because I find I'm reading newspapers more than I have in decades since buying my iPad. Also, I'd love to have a regular subscription to my old hometown paper delivered to me digitally every day.

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