News Corp.’s digital newspaper The Daily is coming to tablets driven by Google’s Honeycomb software this Spring, breaking the iPad exclusivity just a few weeks following its February 2 launch. Author Peter Kafka broke the semi-official news on the News Corp.-owned MediaMemo blog:

Sources tell me The Daily is prepping for an Android tablet launch in the second quarter of this year. Murdoch and News Corp. have been clear that they always planned on getting the Daily on as many tablets as possible, so the move isn?t a huge shock.

Nevertheless, it still is a surprising departure from Murdoch’s original stance made public at the official unveiling in New York when the media magnate said The Daily would remain an iPad exclusive throughout the entire 2010 and partially in 2011 before eventually becoming available on other tablets as well. In a Q&A session at the launch Murdoch opined that "last year, this year and next year" will belong to Apple’s tablet.

The Daily was the first digital publication to use Apple’s new in-app subscriptions. Even though the original plan called for a two-week trial period, the team introduced an additional two week extension due to technical issues. The extended trial period is set to expire this week. Noting the team has gotten "plenty of technical assistance from Apple," the report goes on to say the number of downloads "are ahead" of News Corp.’s plan.

Source: The Media Memo blog