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Monday, January 18, 2010, 06:00 pm PT (09:00 pm ET)

HarperCollins in talks to offer content for Apple's tablet

Apple and publisher HarperCollins are reportedly conducting talks over possible e-book offerings for Apple's new tablet device, with pricing that would follow the current App Store model.

The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that HarperCollins may offer enhanced e-books containing video, author interviews, and social-networking applications. These releases could command a higher price than the current e-book standard of $9.99 for a typical bestseller.

It is unknown as of now if the e-books would be offered though the existing iTunes store or if a specialized e-book storefront would be created.

"Amazon created the e-book market by making the $9.99 price for best sellers an integral part of its introduction of the Kindle e-book reader in November 2007," the report said. "But the Kindle lacks color and video capabilities, two elements that are likely to be crucial to the future of enhanced e-books.

"Amazon could be shut out of enhanced e-books until the Kindle offers those features. The standard Kindle costs $259, however, while analysts expect Apple's tablet to cost about $1,000."

Early last month, it was reported that Apple was offering publishers a deal that would allow them to release their content on other online stores, such as Amazon's Kindle or the forthcoming multi-publisher digital storefront that would offer content from Conde Nast, Hearst, News Corp., Time, and Meredith for use on portable digital devices. It was reported then that Apple was planning on splitting the revenue 30/70 (Apple/publisher), compared to the 50/50 split offered by Amazon for publishing to its Kindle e-reader.

Monday, Apple released invitations to a Jan. 27 event taking place in San Francisco, during which it is believed that the tablet will be introduced. In December, certain iPhone developers were reportedly asked to prepare full-screen demos for the tablet unveiling. Various reports indicate that the tablet will not be available for sale until later this year, most likely around March.