Publisher Conde Nast has announced the December issue of US GQ will be available on iPhone as well as in hard copy.

The print issue will be totally converted, advertising retained, for the iPhone. Importantly, this will mean the sales are tallied by audit bureaus. Conde Nast can therefore count downloads as part of their December circulation.

Despite several magazines offering iPhone apps (eg. Men’s Health offering workout tips), few have successfully converted the the entirety of their print content. Reports of a preview indicate the breakdown of content was clean and allowed for image zooming, caption information and links to store websites. The iPhone version also includes additional images, clips and songs. GQ will not receive a fee for directing shoppers, but will when referring readers to iTunes songs. Advertisers buying for the iPhone issue specifically had their ads shown every fifth screen.

The iPhone version will cost $2.99 USD. The US print version of GQ retails at $4.99 USD.

“We’ve received a lot of criticism, and whether it’s perception or reality doesn’t matter… We know that the world of digital is far grander than display advertising,” said Charles Townsend, CEO of Conde Nast.

The move may be a consortium’s first step toward digital newsstands.

An Australian GQ representative told they currently had nothing similar planned. GQ is published by News Magazines in Australia.