Hearst Reaches Deal with Apple, but Conde Nast Looks to Strike First

Late yesterday afternoon, The Wall Street Journal reported that Hearst had finally struck a deal with Apple for subscriptions on the iPad. Starting with the July issues of Esquire, Popular Mechanics and O, The Oprah Magazine, consumers can begin to subscribe with the Apple system for for $1.99 per month, or $19.99 a year.

Getting Hearst to cave was obviously a big win for Apple, so Steve Jobs was surely smiling somewhere.

Then, not long after this news broke, rumors started to swirl that Conde Nast was going to beat Hearst to the punch by releasing its titles via Apple’s subscription system before Hearst could.

According to Ad Age, a Conde Nast staffer suggested that getting its subscriptions out before Hearst would be important, but “A year from now whoever has the most amount of subs wins.”

Getting Hearst and Conde Nast to fight over a subscription system that they both insisted they didn’t want at first? The biggest win of all for Apple. Somewhere, Jobs is laughing his ass off.