The Economist launches first iPhone and iPad apps

The Economist has set a target of establishing a million digital subscribers within three years as it today launches its first iPhone and iPad apps.

Those that already have a digital or print subscription to The Economist will receive full and unrestricted access to the magazine’s iPhone, iPad and online versions.

For others the app is free to download – with a weekly sample of articles made available – but for a full digital version users in the UK will be asked to pay £3.49 –a slightly lower price than a single issue of the printed title.

The part-free, part paid-for model is similar to that offered by the Financial Times for some of its digital editions – The Economist is part-owned by the FT Group.

The Economist claims a total global print and digital circulation of 1.44m – according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations in the first six months of the year the UK print edition magazine averaged a weekly circulation of 195,244 – a year-on-year increase of 4.2 per cent.

A full annual subscription to The Economist costs £102 a year, a digital subscription costs £99 annually or £27 quarterly. The magazine is also available on the Kindle in the UK and the US and through Zinio.

Each week’s issue of The Economist, together with the full audio version, will be available to download by 9pm London time (4pm New York time) on Thursdays.

The Economist’s print edition claimed a global circulation of 1.4m a week in the first six months of this year, up 2.8 per cent year on year. The latest web figures quoted by The Economist claim 3.4m unique visitors a month.

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