Publishers Flock to Apple’s New Tablet for Enhanced E-Book Deals

January 19, 2010

(ChattahBox)—On Monday, Apple, Inc. sent out a press release announcing the unveiling of the company’s “latest creation” on Jan. 27. By all accounts, the company plans to finally offer a computer tablet device with a color screen and multimedia capabilities, which would give Amazon’s Kindle a run for its money. Apple’s new tablet computer has not even hit the store shelves. Heck, Apple hasn’t even formally announced that it’s producing the mythical iSlate tablet device. But that hasn’t put an end to the constant speculation about the device and the behind the scenes deals with publishing companies and newspapers. Recent reports have said the new York Times is in talks with Apple to incorporate the new tablet into its paid subscription plans.

Now, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that major publishers, including News Corp’s HarperCollins are in the process of negotiating deals with Apple to produce enhanced e-books for the new tablet, which would offer readers a new multimedia experience, complete with video and author interviews.

According to the report in the Wall Street Journal, people familiar with the situation have confirmed that Harper Collins and other publishers have been negotiating with Apple, Inc. to produce electronic books for the new device:

“HarperCollins is expected to set the prices of the e-books, which would have added features, with Apple taking a percentage of sales. Details haven’t been ironed out. It couldn’t be learned whether Apple will sell the HarperCollins titles via a new e-book store or through its existing iTunes Store, which sells music, television shows and movies. Other publishers also have met with Apple, people familiar with the matter said. Apple declined to comment.”

Publishers like the idea of enhanced e-books because they could sell the titles for more than the current price of $9.99 set by Amazon for its Kindle reader.The enhanced electronic books, would offer video and even social-networking features, and could command prices of $14.99 to $19.99.

Amazon would be shut out of the enhanced e-book market, because its Kindle reader is only available in black-and-white and has no video capabilities.

Apple’s tablet device is expected to retail for about a $1,000 and hit store shelves in March.

See the Wall Street Journal for more.


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