Disney CEO seduced by iPad

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The Independent Tech

Walt Disney Co. president and chief executive Robert Iger said Tuesday that Apple's new iPad tablet computer may prove to be a "game changer" for the entertainment and media industry.

"We find that the iPad has a lot of potential," Iger said in a conference call after Disney announced a first-quarter net profit of 844 million dollars, virtually unchanged from a year ago.

"It could be a game changer in terms of enabling us to create essentially new forms of content," Iger said. "It will be a great device to play games and watch videos because of the quality of the screen.

"The interactivity that it will allow on a portable device with such a high quality screen is going to enable us to really start developing products that are different than the products you see on an Internet-connected computer or on a TV set and digital reader that we're talking about," Iger said.

He also indicated during the call that Disney was ready to sell its Miramax film unit, saying investing in more Miramax movies was not part of Disney's "core strategy" and that the company was exploring "all of our options."

"We determined that continuing to invest in new Miramax movies was not necessarily a core strategy of ours," he said. "We believed that it would be prudent for us to explore all of our options.

"We're always intent on deriving as much value as we possibly can from an asset, and that will affect the timing of what we'll do next with Miramax," Iger said.

According to US press reports, Miramax has held talks with a number of potential buyers of Miramax, the studio behind such hits as "Pulp Fiction," "Shakespeare in Love" and "Kill Bill."

Disney's earnings per share of 47 cents for the first quarter of its fiscal year were better than the 38 cents expected by Wall Street analysts.

Revenue rose one percent to 9.74 billion dollars and also surpassed the forecasts of analysts who expected 9.66 billion dollars.

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