Wired UK to do an iPad version that “won’t be better than the magazine”

Publishers Condé Nast are to launch an iPad version of UK Wired to test the market.

The iPad version will however not be going monthly immediately. The first version is intended only as a way of testing the water.

The original announcement from the Wired blog explains that the iPad issue will be built in-house “by a talented team of developers, who are using the same Adobe-based tools that our American cousins used to create their iPad app earlier in the year.” The app will be available “as close as possible to the release date of the December issue”, which is 4 November, 2010 and worryingly they add “Exactly how close depends on Apple’s approval process.”

Equally worryingly they say that “It’s a media rich experience — it won’t be better than the magazine – Our italics – but will deliver a different user relationship, in some cases extending the magazine content and capitalising on the technology available via an app.”Which to us translates as we’ll be selling you the same stuff but this time it’ll be on an iPad. Didn’t the record companies spin the same story when they transferred us from LP’s to Tape to CD’s?

Wired UK editor David Rowan told website paidContent:UK “We will publish the December issue, then take a slight pause to assess/iterate before moving to monthly publication,”  Adding, “There are big implications for how editorial and publishing work, so we want to get it right.”

The December issue, published in November, will be Wired’s Christmas issue. Conde Nast reckons 18% of Wired UK magazine readers, which has a circulation of 50,000, already own an iPad.

If it’s as successful as the US Wired iPad edition –  the first edition sold more than 96,000 downloads at $4.99, later reduced to $3.99 – and if we were the publisher we’d be asking ourselves why bother with the hard copy?