Apple Coaxes Publishers to Join It on iPad Subscriptions

Apple Inc. in recent weeks has accelerated its efforts to persuade publishers to join the company’s first foray into selling newspaper and magazine subscriptions for the iPad tablet computer, according to people familiar with the matter.

Apple (AAPL) could announce a print-subscription offering as early as the next month or two, some of the people familiar with the matter said. One of these people cautioned that Apple is still working on the technology and may prefer to announce its periodical service early next year, along with the likely introduction of a new iPad.

The subscription push appears to be a sign that newspapers and magazines will be Apple’s next front in its sale of media like music, television shows, movies and books.

A hub for buying newspapers and magazines–similar to Apple’s iBooks storefront–also could help the iPad stand out from a coming wave of rival tablet computers backed by Google Inc.’s (GOOG) software.

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