The Wall Street Journal has announced that Time Inc. and Apple have done a deal whereby print subscribers of the publisher's magazines can now get the digital iPad equivalents on their tablets for free.

The report states that the change comes in to play on 2 May, with subscribers of Sports Illustrated, Time and Fortune magazines the first to benefit.

The apps are free as it is, but there will now be a system for subscribers to enter their credentials and download their virtual mags without paying again.

People magazine (and others such as The Economist) have similar setups, but this is the first time a blanket deal has been done, and it indicates that Apple is now more willing to play ball with regards to its own subscription models.

Nothing official has come out of Cupertino as of yet, but it is believed that Apple could benefit from the move, despite the obvious lack of income (from its cut of in-app fees) as a result of targeted adverts to subscribers from within the app.

Do you subscribe to any iPad magazines? If so, would you consider a switch to a physicals subscription if you could get a digital copy for free? Let us know what you think using Disqus below.