Magazines see steep decline in iPad sales

Titles including <em>Vanity Fair</em>, <em>GQ</em> and <em>Wired</em> suffer a fall in iPad readersh

Almost all popular magazines, including Wired, Vanity Fair, GQ, Glamour and Men's Health, have suffered a steep decline in readership on the iPad since their first debut on the tablet computer, according to data from the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

"Digital sales dropped toward the end of 2010 for all the magazines that make those figures available to the Audit Bureau of Circulations," reports Women's Wear Daily.

Wired's iPad version, which registered sales of 100,000 copies when it was first launched in June, fell to 31,000 between July and September, while in October and November, its digital sales dropped to between 22,000 and 23,000.

Similarly, Vanity Fair was down from its average of about 10,500 digital editions for the August, September and October issues to 8,700 in November.

Glamour magazine also saw a steep decline in sales by about 40 per cent, from 4,301 iPad copies in September, to 2,775 issues in November.
GQ's November edition sold 11,000 copies, its worst performance since April. Between May and October, its average digital sales stood at 13,000, while the subscription of Men's Health on the iPad also fell from 2,800 to 2,000 in September and October.

The latest numbers provided by the ABC come as further bad news for the magazine industry which had hoped to offset the decline in print sales over the past few years with the iPad versions.

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Geoffrey Howe dies, aged 88

Howe was Margaret Thatcher's longest serving Cabinet minister – and the man credited with precipitating her downfall.

The former Conservative chancellor Lord Howe, a key figure in the Thatcher government, has died of a suspected heart attack, his family has said. He was 88.

Geoffrey Howe was the longest-serving member of Margaret Thatcher's Cabinet, playing a key role in both her government and her downfall. Born in Port Talbot in 1926, he began his career as a lawyer, and was first elected to parliament in 1964, but lost his seat just 18 months later.

Returning as MP for Reigate in the Conservative election victory of 1970, he served in the government of Edward Heath, first as Solicitor General for England & Wales, then as a Minister of State for Trade. When Margaret Thatcher became opposition leader in 1975, she named Howe as her shadow chancellor.

He retained this brief when the party returned to government in 1979. In the controversial budget of 1981, he outlined a radical monetarist programme, abandoning then-mainstream economic thinking by attempting to rapidly tackle the deficit at a time of recession and unemployment. Following the 1983 election, he was appointed as foreign secretary, in which post he negotiated the return of Hong Kong to China.

In 1989, Thatcher demoted Howe to the position of leader of the house and deputy prime minister. And on 1 November 1990, following disagreements over Britain's relationship with Europe, he resigned from the Cabinet altogether. 

Twelve days later, in a powerful speech explaining his resignation, he attacked the prime minister's attitude to Brussels, and called on his former colleagues to "consider their own response to the tragic conflict of loyalties with which I have myself wrestled for perhaps too long".

Labour Chancellor Denis Healey once described an attack from Howe as "like being savaged by a dead sheep" - but his resignation speech is widely credited for triggering the process that led to Thatcher's downfall. Nine days later, her premiership was over.

Howe retired from the Commons in 1992, and was made a life peer as Baron Howe of Aberavon. He later said that his resignation speech "was not intended as a challenge, it was intended as a way of summarising the importance of Europe". 

Nonetheless, he added: "I am sure that, without [Thatcher's] resignation, we would not have won the 1992 election... If there had been a Labour government from 1992 onwards, New Labour would never have been born."

Jonn Elledge is the editor of the New Statesman's sister site CityMetric. He is on Twitter, far too much, as @JonnElledge.