Philly papers offering subscribers $99 Android tablet

The Philadelphia Media Network, owner of two newspapers and the Philly.com Web site, is now offering an Android tablet for $99 to anyone who signs up for a two-year subscription.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
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A Philadelphia newspaper publisher is trying to steer more people to its online editions by offering a $99 Android-based tablet with a two-year subscription.

The Philadelphia Media Network, which is publisher of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News, and Philly.com, launched its promotion today, kicking in 5,000 Arnova 10 G2 tablets on a first-come, first-served basis to people who open up digital subscriptions to both of its newspapers.

Those who sign up for a two-year $9.99-per-month subscription can scoop up the tablet for $99, while those who opt for a one-year subscription at a cost of $12.99 a month will pay $129 for the Android-based device. The digital subscriptions are heavily discounted due to sponsorships from Main Line Health, Comcast, and Wells Fargo.

The Arnova tablet will come packaged with digital or mobile editions of the Inquirer, Daily News, and Philly.com and include a range of other apps, such as e-mail, a Web browser, the Amazon Appstore, an office suite, and Main Line Health's Wellness program. It also provides apps designed to ferret out local deals and information in the Philly area.

Manufactured by Archos, the Arnova 10 G2 is a 10.1-inch tablet with a 1GHz ARM Cortex A8 processor, Android 2.3 Gingerbread, a 1024x600 pixel display, 4GB of storage space, an integrated 720p Webcam, and support for Adobe Flash. (This PDF has all the specs.)

The partnership between the Philadelphia Media Network and Archos is the first of its kind involving a major media company in the U.S., according to the publisher.

"This partnership recognizes that consumers are increasingly utilizing tablets and other highly portable devices for their news, sports, and entertainment needs," Philadelphia Media Network CEO Gregory Osberg said in a statement. "We intend to utilize a variety of platforms and methods to reach our customers, ranging from Philly.com to traditional hard copy subscriptions, as well as our new digital subscriptions."

Newspaper publisher Tribune Co. is reportedly cooking up a similar deal with Samsung to offer subscribers a free or low-cost Android tablet in exchange for a long-term commitment. That program was initially expected to launch in early August but has been delayed, according to CNN.