The Washington Post launched an iPhone app Wednesday that offers access to the newspaper's content for US$1.99. That price covers one year of access.
The Post is the newest member of the newspaper world that has approached the iPhone with a dedicated app, and one of a smaller subset of those newspapers that is charging a fee for that app. For instance, The New York Times has a free app that has been downloaded more than 3 million times, while The Guardian of the UK offers its content through a $3.99 app. Online magazine Slate has a $1.99 app.
All of which comes in the lead up to the release of the iPad, for which Apple has created a publishing store front called iBooks. Apple CEO has also reportedly been pursuing newspaper publishers for the iPad, pitching the device as their way to monetize digital distribution of their content.
Some of those publishers have been resistant to Apple's offer of a 70/30 revenue split that leaves Apple in control of the customer relationship, but those publishers that have released dedicated iPhone apps are, effectively, embracing that exact business model - the above-mentioned terms mirror those of the App Store.
The Associated Press, which provides articles to newspapers around the world through subscriptions and per-article fees, recently announced that it would have a dedicated app for the iPad. The Washington Post's new iPhone app will run on the iPad, but the company has not yet announced if it would tailor a version of the app for the iPad's higher screen resolution.
The Washington Post iPhone app screenshot