Report: Apple in talks with publisher on tablet e-books

HarperCollins would reportedly sell e-books with added features for an Apple tablet

Apple is in talks with HarperCollins Publishers about offering e-books for the upcoming Apple tablet device, a news report said late Monday.

Details haven't been finalized but the publisher is expected to offer the e-books with "added features" and to determine their prices itself, The Wall Street Journal said in the report, citing unnamed sources. Apple would take a cut from the sales, it said.

Apple has also met with other publishers, but it was unknown if Apple would open a new online store for the books or sell them through iTunes, the report said.

Apple has invited reporters to an event in San Francisco on Jan. 27. The company reportedly plans to use the event to unveil a much-hyped but still unconfirmed tablet-style device that could blend e-book, Web-surfing and other multimedia functions.

HarperCollins recently said e-books could sell for higher prices if loaded with extra features like social-networking applications, video or author interviews, according to the report. The publisher's talks with Apple could pose a challenge to Amazon.com, currently the biggest player in the e-book market. Amazon sells e-books for viewing on its popular Kindle e-reader.

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Owen Fletcher

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