Saving print media? NYT offers netbook discount with Reader subscription

Last week, Apple unveiled the iPad, sparking talks that the device could be the answer for – or the death of – old media. But it looks like the New York Times might be thinking of other ways to get its content on small screens.

The Times is offering $100 off a Samsung Go netbook with a one-year subscription to the Times Reader 2.0, a “next-generation news reader.”

Given the extreme plug Apple gave the Times at the iPad launch (see the live  blog update posted at 1:50 p.m.), the Samsung promotion seems slightly nefarious.

Or maybe it’s part of the Times’ plan to stay cozy with Apple. The Reader only provides the last seven days of Times news whereas the iPad – at least according to reports that Apple CEO Steve Jobs is in talks with the Times to offer a new way to stream content to the iPad’s e-reader – would provide live, fluid (arguably more appealing) news. Bonus: the Reader  program doesn’t require internet access.

But why the Times would want to partner with a netbook when it already has obvious support from the iPad is a mystery. Though not as much a mystery as why anyone would want to read week-old stagnant pages of a newspaper on a  screen that’s as lilliputian as the keyboard attached to it.

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