Steve Jobs on SI iPad Demo: “It’s Stupid”

[responsive]si-ipad1[/responsive]Remember how the iPad was going to save the magazine industry? Yeah, neither do we but for a while there it did look like publishers were taking the idea of tabletized magazines to the virtual bank.

And while the current state of tablet magazines is pretty dismal, there was a time a few years back when publishers were falling over themselves to prove their savvy with the still-to-be released iPad platform.

“Condé Nast, for instance, showed some people what a tabletized version of Wired might look like. Time Inc. was even more public with a demo of a digital Sports Illustrated, mocked up for a generic ‘Time Inc.’ tablet that everyone knew was meant to be the Apple iThing,” writes Peter Kafka in re/code.

It didn’t go well. Not at all.

“Steve Jobs hated the video — and, more important, the fact that it was out in public before he debuted his device,” Kafka writes. “That’s according to sources in Gabriel Sherman’s new story about Time Inc. in this week’s New York magazine.”

“I think it’s stupid. Really stupid,” Jobs reportedly told Time Inc. execs when asked about the prototype.

Was Jobs just angry that SI stole Apple’s thunder on what the iPad might do? Maybe that had something to do with it, but that’s certainly not the whole story. The expected success of the iPad/magazine partnership hasn’t materialized for any numbers of reasons, but the bottom line is that most advertisers and many readers simply don’t care about the digital version of their favorite magazines.

While most publishers are now putting out a digital version, and some are making money at it, it hasn’t transformed the industry the way it was expected to.

“I think it’s stupid,” Jobs said. We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.