The frenzy is growing over Apple’s likely late-January announcement of a tablet and I’ve lost track of the number of writers who see in the tablet — along with the success e-readers are starting to enjoy — the latest “saviour” for print.

(Click any of the links in this Google search I did and you’ll get a taste for some of what’s being written.)

I’m wondering if publishers who see hope for subscription revenue from new readers/tablets are pinning too much on the belief that the experience of reading a single “print” publication — enhanced by interactivity, video et al — is what a significant portion of the public is after.

Watch the spiffy video for the Sports Illustrated e-reader experience and, after you get past the “wow,” ponder whether the new Sports Illustrated will attract large numbers of new subscribers or merely serve, in a very different way, those who already subscribe. (You also have to wonder if SI brings all that up-to-the-minute, multimedia goodness to the readers, will it affect readership of local major newspaper sports sections?)

And how about the local newspaper. Is it the package and presentation that readers are after, or is it the content? With much of the content available elsewhere, is package and presentation enough to drive new subscription sales?

There’s no doubt that e-readers, the iPhone and its kin and, probably, Apple’s new tablet open tremendously exciting ways to create and consume information.

But when it comes to the financial implications and possibilities, all I have, as usual, are questions and no clear sense that this — or any other single trend or technology — is the elusive “saviour” publishers want.

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