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No longer the Apple of every publisher's eye
Apple's move to take a greater share of cash from newspaper app subscriptions may instead allow Google to take a bite

There was a time, not so long ago, when Apple was heralded as the saviour of the publishing industry. Steve Jobs's company would miraculously convince a generation to pay for online news. Its "Jesus tablet", the iPad, would be so popular with consumers that they would be seduced into paying for a new generation of publishers' apps.

That was until last week, when Apple's relationship with the media industry came to a head. With a new set of terms and conditions for digital subscriptions, described as "brazen" by one national newspaper executive, publishers' inherent wariness towards the company quickly turned into a deep mistrust.

The drama, though, was yet to begin. While media bosses were still getting their heads around Apple's strict new regime, Google fired a shot across its rival's bow with its own, very different attempt to woo newspaper and magazine publishers.

Within 24 hours, the landscape of online news looked radically different. Apple's natural allure for media types – it commands a 70%-plus chunk of the nascent tablet market – was shaken. And Google had potentially opened the door to more paywall products.

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