People normally buy smartphones and tablets in one of two ways. They either buy the device outright from a retail store for full price, or they sign a contract with an operator that then provides cellular connectivity. Looking to shake things up a bit, The Times, which is a British newspaper that News Corp purchased in 1981, will sell you a 32 GB Nexus 7 for just £50 if you buy an 18 month subscription to the digital version of the publication.
Let’s do the math. The 32 GB WiFi only Nexus 7 costs £199 in the UK. One month of digital access to The Times costs £17.33. So over the life of the contract you’re paying £50 + (£17.33 x 18) = £361.94. There’s also an option to spend £299 in one lump sum for both the tablet and an 18 month subscription.
So is this a good deal? Yes and no. If you’re a fan of The Times, then they’re letting you take home an already cheap tablet for an even cheaper price, but you’re going to be stuck with a bill for the next year and a half. If you cough up an extra £100 for the Nexus 7 upfront, then you’ll get access to a decent newspaper for what turns out to be £5.56 per month.
It’s hard for us to say if this is going to work or not because not everyone might like The Times and not everyone might like a recurring monthly bill. Many of us here at Android Authority believe that it’s better to save up your pennies and buy something retail instead of chaining yourself to a contract. At the same time, we also believe that good journalism deserves to survive. But then again, doesn’t the UK taxpayer support the British Broadcasting Corporation in one form or another?
We leave it to you to decide.
The BBC is funded by a licence fee which is levied to everyone who owns a TV or streams live BBC TV or Radio content. Not quite a tax, since you can avoid it by avoiding the means to access the BBC, but not far off.
Personally, if I didn’t already have an N7, I would object to committing to giving a Murdoch corporation my money for 18 months. Better to buy one retain and then access free news resources using Currents, Flipboard, etc.
The newspapers need to move away from a pricing model and recognise that advertising is the only way to make money. Google have shown it works if done properly.
If the New Yorker where to do something like this, I would be among the very first to sign up.
If the National Inquirer in the US or Heat magazine in the UK would do this, I’d be the first one to buy one! (no, not really)
Seems like a good idea for the UK Times. I hope they don’t add any other crapware or software limitations.