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HarperCollins in talks to offer content for Apple's tablet

post #1 of 51
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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.
post #2 of 51
Any opinions on the Mirasol Display? For the Apple tablet or even Kindle?
post #3 of 51
I really, really hope that Apple won't release a $1000 tablet...
post #4 of 51
Of the literally hundreds of books in my house today, I don't know that I have any from a HarperCollins imprint.

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post #5 of 51
Kindle profits are about to go down.
post #6 of 51
Not to denigrate the efforts of any of the fine programmers who have poured their blood, sweat, and tears into creating e-reader apps... but I'm really hoping Apple provides us little fish with some sort of framework for making it easy to make a nice ebook.
post #7 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

Kindle profits are about to go down.

Im not sure they are that high to begin with. Has Amazin ever broke out the Kindle sales? They say its the number item on their store, but its also the only the place to buy it.
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post #8 of 51
An ebook display. Ohh.... Ahh...

Whatever lame single-purpose tablet Apple releases, I know I'll still be happier with my 3 year old MacBook.
post #9 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

... 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. ...

if this is what they are thinking, then they are thinking wrong.

No way is an electronic book, (*any* electronic book), worth more than ten bucks or so. Media companies have to start to realise that electronic products are not worth the same as their real world counterparts.
post #10 of 51
I agree about the $10 price point for e-books, but if this supports author interviews/other multimedia/exclusive content, I could live with a $5-$10 increase, depending on title and extra content offered.

I don't see how they could pull off an e-reader app of that magnitude if it's truly running a glorified iPhone OS build, though. They might call it that, but with a multitouch iWork rumored to be coming, I'd say it's closer to a lower-end OS X. Apple just won't call it that because "lower-end" is not a phrase they want to be associated with.
post #11 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

No way is an electronic book, (*any* electronic book), worth more than ten bucks or so. Media companies have to start to realise that electronic products are not worth the same as their real world counterparts.

I remember the first time I ever had to buy a $100 book. That was a long time ago, and now I own books that cost $300. They're professional textbooks, and the price has less to do about gouging than it does market size and costs of production. Not all markets are the same. And if a company produces an electronic book that people will pay more than $10 for, then it'll have been worth more than $10 by the only definition of "worth" that matters.
post #12 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

if this is what they are thinking, then they are thinking wrong.

No way is an electronic book, (*any* electronic book), worth more than ten bucks or so. Media companies have to start to realise that electronic products are not worth the same as their real world counterparts.

I strongly disagree and suspect you are thinking of novels, nothing more. There are plenty non-fiction books that are sold for, and in my opinion, worth more than $10.

Being digital does drop the cost of publication. While there is other distribution costs for using iTunes eBook standard or whatever and paying Apple 30% for the hosting does need to be factored in, publishers also have to adjust the price for the amount of piracy that will occur, with or without DRM.
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post #13 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

if this is what they are thinking, then they are thinking wrong.

No way is an electronic book, (*any* electronic book), worth more than ten bucks or so. Media companies have to start to realise that electronic products are not worth the same as their real world counterparts.

I would agree for most pieces of fiction, but I see quite a few areas where non-fiction books could really be worth more than their printed editions. Interactive illustrations and videos, direct links to Web searches and Wikipedia, updates incorporating errata (try to have a class of 50 people manually updating errors in e.g. a programming textbook over time, it is a nightmare), easy to project... I really do not see a book costing 80-200 bucks in print selling for 9.99 despite offering more. Just think of all the books with periodical updates used in literally all companies (e.g. on human resource management and laws, tax matters, occupational safety, environmental regulations, quality management, etc.) we spend more than 20 man-months each year just updating these binders and recording these updates... even at the full price of the print edition, an electronic version would still save us a fortune.
post #14 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by dreyfus2 View Post

I would agree for most pieces of fiction, but I see quite a few areas where non-fiction books could really be worth more than their printed editions. Interactive illustrations and videos, direct links to Web searches and Wikipedia, updates incorporating errata (try to have a class of 50 people manually updating errors in e.g. a programming textbook over time, it is a nightmare), easy to project... I really do not see a book costing 80-200 bucks in print selling for 9.99 despite offering more. Just think of all the books with periodical updates used in literally all companies (e.g. on human resource management and laws, tax matters, occupational safety, environmental regulations, quality management, etc.) we spend more than 20 man-months each year just updating these binders and recording these updates... even at the full price of the print edition, an electronic version would still save us a fortune.

The average price of every book purchased is going to come down as we shift more toward e-books as the average selling price of e-books will continue to be lower than their printed counterparts. However, depending on the final average selling price of the e-book and the revenue share Apple (and others) provide margins for the publishers could stay relatively stable at a somewhat lower level in the digital world than they are in the printed world. Production costs will come down significantly as we shift to digital books. Shipping will also be reduced significantly.

Amazon has never provided Kindle sales because they likely aren't huge even if they do doinate the e-book market. At this point we are looking at a relatively small market compared to what it will one day become. The tablet could rapidly expand this market and take a dominant market share right off the bat.

As for the guy who mentioned that he doesn't have any HarperCollins books on his shelves, that simply doesn't matter. They are one of the major publishers out there and they simply happen to be the first one linked to the tablet. They will not be the last and I suspect Apple already has deals in place with a few of the majors, or will in the very near future (ie. before the tablet hits the market in March).

And everyone needs to remember that while the tablet will likely change the e-book market significantly it is also going to have a huge impact on gaming and who the hell knows what else. Jobs doesn't produce one trick pony products, and he has specifically mentioned that he wouldn't do so with a tablet.
post #15 of 51
This media component (books, magazines, newspapers, etc.) could be an amazing feature, but if the device is $1000, I'm not carrying it around with me like I would a $300 device. I'm sorry, but I feel uncomfortable walking around with my iPhone at times. I hate for Apple to create anything underpowered (not that they would admit it) but price is going to be a big sticking point for me.

There must be some other "wow" component to all of this. An example would be... if I sign up for the New York Times, I have full access to their article DB in an way that only Apple could think of.

I bring my little hackintosh along with me because I don't like the idea of having a $2300+ (my MacBook Pro) device in my bag. Needless to say, I'm not spending $1000+ for a slick MacBook.

We will simply have to wait and see what Apple plans to deliver.
post #16 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave K. View Post

I really, really hope that Apple won't release a $1000 tablet...

I wouldn't worry about that. It's going to cost way more.
post #17 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronbo View Post

Not to denigrate the efforts of any of the fine programmers who have poured their blood, sweat, and tears into creating e-reader apps... but I'm really hoping Apple provides us little fish with some sort of framework for making it easy to make a nice ebook.

As long as you create it to go into a reader, as I don't want any more single book apps. Home screen / launcher space is restricted enough as it is. I don't need or want all fifty of the ebooks listed in my Kindle app requiring an icon.
post #18 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

if this is what they are thinking, then they are thinking wrong.

No way is an electronic book, (*any* electronic book), worth more than ten bucks or so. Media companies have to start to realise that electronic products are not worth the same as their real world counterparts.

You are so absurdly opinionated that you fail to "take off the blinkers". Have you boycotted Apple for measurably high margins on their products as well? The market will bear whatever value the consumer sees in the product. Some books and subscriptions are bound to cost more than others and some digital versions might actually cost more than their analog equivalent.

Further, if electronic books are to include additional material including audio, video and interactive elements, it actually sounds like publishing has gotten a bit more involved. Before you counteract with... "this is not what books are or ever will be." Try to understand that investing in media rich and cross promotional material is an investment writers, producers and publishers are working hard developing essentially a new product as a means of making print relevant and meaningful in the future.

Just as we expect Apple to innovate so too must lumbering giant industries like TV, Movies, Print and Radio; and they have tons of "catching up" to do. It's just a sign of the times. You're argument is couched in a relativistic perception of "value" and it just doesn't work. Especially in this case, since we have yet to see most of the technology and measure the perceived value of the final product.

I think if we're getting ripped off anything could be a fail (Obviously) but if we feel like we're getting the value that we paid for, then happy times.
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post #19 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronbo View Post

I remember the first time I ever had to buy a $100 book. That was a long time ago, and now I own books that cost $300. They're professional textbooks, and the price has less to do about gouging than it does market size and costs of production. Not all markets are the same. And if a company produces an electronic book that people will pay more than $10 for, then it'll have been worth more than $10 by the only definition of "worth" that matters.

How much of that $100-$300 arises from publishers ending up with warehouses full of titles that don't sell? Publishers take this risk but also have to divine which titles are worth printing in quantity because if you print too few first up, you risk losing momentum.

As an academic it annoys me that many academic journals are very expensive, yet rely on authors to do their own typesetting. I wrote and published my own novel using Kindle and Createspace (see my blog for pointers). It was fun and not too hard. It also hasn't covered costs but since I don't do this for a living I haven't gone broke.

The big win from epublishing if it's done right is that you can cut out the shrinkage costs, and the risk of too small an initial print run. Let the author do most of the traditional typesetter's job, and there is no real need to charge high prices even for slow sellers. Make a small profit or lose a little in the worst case. But if your "small print run" book turns out to be popular, sales can take right off without having to rush back to the printers and hope you can print more in time to meet (possibly transient) demand.

As for what Apple will do, your guess is as good as mine ...

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post #20 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronbo View Post

I'm really hoping Apple provides us little fish with some sort of framework for making it easy to make a nice ebook.

Enhanced Album's in iTunes. You might want to look at them a little closer
post #21 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by philipm View Post

How much of that $100-$300 arises from publishers ending up with warehouses full of titles that don't sell? Publishers take this risk but also have to divine which titles are worth printing in quantity because if you print too few first up, you risk losing momentum.

In most cases the cost of the physical media and shipping/handling is totally over-estimated. Publishers can e.g. offer packages/collections containing thousands of pages (look for e.g. Jules Verne complete editions or the complete works of Wieland... 10-15k pages across 30 or more books with hardcovers) for next to nothing and still make money (I paid the equivalent of 45 USD for a complete Wieland edition - 22 volumes hardcover plus a nice box). And these are not "hot selling" items, so warehouse space does not seem to determine the end price either. This is not only true for books. You can find collections of classical music containing 40-50 CDs in one box for under $200, and they still carry a mark-up. Content and demand determine the price, printing cost is in most cases irrelevant (except for photo books and a few other items).
post #22 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronbo View Post

Not to denigrate the efforts of any of the fine programmers who have poured their blood, sweat, and tears into creating e-reader apps... but I'm really hoping Apple provides us little fish with some sort of framework for making it easy to make a nice ebook.

If they do it will be a feature of iWork.

I am so with you on this one though. I've been searching everywhere for a Mac ebook creator software and so far come up with NOTHING. I can't even find any real place for working out the format coding to make my own. I think if Apple is going to produce a tablet that is aimed at print content as well then they will develop software to make proper ebooks and not just PDF documents which many ebook readers still have trouble with if it is complex.
post #23 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by dreyfus2 View Post

In most cases the cost of the physical media and shipping/handling is totally over-estimated. Publishers can e.g. offer packages/collections containing thousands of pages (look for e.g. Jules Verne complete editions or the complete works of Wieland... 10-15k pages across 30 or more books with hardcovers) for next to nothing and still make money (I paid the equivalent of 45 USD for a complete Wieland edition - 22 volumes hardcover plus a nice box). And these are not "hot selling" items, so warehouse space does not seem to determine the end price either. This is not only true for books. You can find collections of classical music containing 40-50 CDs in one box for under $200, and they still carry a mark-up. Content and demand determine the price, printing cost is in most cases irrelevant (except for photo books and a few other items).

Printing costs are hardly irrelevant. At the low end, you're still looking at a bit under 1¢ per page, plus producing a nice color cover and binding it all together. You end up with raw production costs of a few dollars per book.

At 30% of a $10 book, Apple would be keeping replacing those costs, but eliminating shipping, warehousing and risk.

Seems like a pretty good deal for everyone.
post #24 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by LTMP View Post

Printing costs are hardly irrelevant. At the low end, you're still looking at about 1¢ per page, plus producing a nice color cover and binding it all together. You end up with raw production costs of a few dollars per book.

At 30% of a $10 book, Apple would be keeping replacing those costs, but eliminating shipping, warehousing and risk.

Seems like a pretty good deal for everyone.

I do agree that 30% is a good deal, especially considering that its considerably more generous than Amazons take and it eliminates the cost of physical shipping and is likely less than B&M stores get on mark up of most content, but I do disagree on the risk factor.

At least, the publishers perceived risk. They have to DRM the content but the closer they keep it to themselves the higher the cost to maintain the DRM protection and they really dont have expertise in this area so theyll likely have Apple and other vendors maintain the DRM for the same content which increases the potential for breaking DRM in other ways that theyll have no control over.

Inevitably the content will end up cracked and available for free in the dark alleyways of the internets . Unlike the high piracy that is claimed by App Store developers which have ways of monitoring piracy despite having little to no recourse in to prevent the occurrence books, newspapers and other periodicals may find it impossible to accurately determine, much less prevent, piracy. That doesnt mean they shouldnt go digitalthey really have no choice if they wish to survivebut that doesnt mean its not without risk.
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post #25 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I do agree that 30% is a good deal, especially considering that its considerably more generous than Amazons take and it eliminates the cost of physical shipping and is likely less than B&M stores get on mark up of most content, but I do disagree on the risk factor.

At least, the publishers perceived risk. They have to DRM the content but the closer they keep it to themselves the higher the cost to maintain the DRM protection and they really dont have expertise in this area so theyll likely have Apple and other vendors maintain the DRM for the same content which increases the potential for breaking DRM in other ways that theyll have no control over.

Inevitably the content will end up cracked and available for free in the dark alleyways of the internets . Unlike the high piracy that is claimed by App Store developers which have ways of monitoring piracy despite having little to no recourse in to prevent the occurrence books, newspapers and other periodicals may find it impossible to accurately determine, much less prevent, piracy. That doesnt mean they shouldnt go digitalthey really have no choice if they wish to survivebut that doesnt mean its not without risk.


No question that risk is a big factor, and is the primary reason it has taken the publishing industry so long to shift toward digital books and other content (ie. magazines, newspapers, etc...). However, the movie theater industry is currently making this shift and I have read about some of the anti-piracy initiatives launched and built into the digital content that is currently in the market. No doubt that piracy is an issue, and will continue to be an issue, but the shift to digital will happen and those content providers that find a way to maximize current sales in the digital while working to minimize piracy will end up market leaders in the digital world. It is that simple. This shift is happening and anyone not participating will likely be hurt in the long run by not moving early, although they also need to be prudent as they do so.
post #26 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by adamthompson3232 View Post

However, the movie theater industry is currently making this shift and I have read about some of the anti-piracy initiatives launched and built into the digital content that is currently in the market.

Speaking of, in an off-topic round about way, I read that Blu-ra player sales were up 67% for 2009. That seems quite low considering the drop in price for Blu-ray players. I seem to recall that when CD and DVD players reached a sub $100 point in their product history that their growth rate was many times year over year. I wonder if digital downloads and streaming media, from various sources from ad-supported to paid sources are growing considerably faster due to their inherent convenience factor for many people.
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post #27 of 51
I'm sure piracy is a concern, hopefully it won't slow college textbooks being put on the tablet. I must admit though, if the college textbooks are pirateable, students are just going to pirate them unless they are at a reasonable price (ie, not 200$).
post #28 of 51
Yup. This remains yet another big question what would be available abroad. Upon having been waiting since always for movie rental capabilities in French iTunes Store I'm somewhat pessimistic about whether this new amazing product would do any good for me.
And personally I'm not that much interested in any creative painting facilities....

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post #29 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by ivan.rnn01 View Post

Yup. This remains yet another big question what would be available abroad. Upon having been waiting since always for movie rental capabilities in French iTunes Store I'm somewhat pessimistic about whether this new amazing product would do any good for me.
And personally I'm not that much interested in any creative painting facilities....

As with all Apple products the primary focus will always be the US at first. This is even moreso if the product is intended to be used with media services from 3rd-parties that dont cross international borders with ease. Personally, I think its all bullocks since it limits the distribution and therefore the sales, but its not my call. \
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post #30 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

As with all Apple products the primary focus will always be the US at first. This is even moreso if the product is intended to be used with media services from 3rd-parties that don’t cross international borders with ease. Personally, I think it’s all bullocks since it limits the distribution and therefore the sales, but it’s not my call. \

I accept. But they just can't sell the product nude at Apple price. We may eventually have some piece of action too.

P.S. Frankly, what I'd readily consider is some kind of subscription to the special tablet version of some weekly (Paris Match, for one) of superior typographic quality, including the access to their archives. E-books come only second.

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post #31 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Speaking of, in an off-topic round about way, I read that Blu-ra player sales were up 67% for 2009. That seems quite low considering the drop in price for Blu-ray players. I seem to recall that when CD and DVD players reached a sub $100 point in their product history that their growth rate was many times year over year. I wonder if digital downloads and streaming media, from various sources from ad-supported to paid sources are growing considerably faster due to their inherent convenience factor for many people.

Their rate of growth will be higher as digital downloads is a smaller market.
post #32 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by ivan.rnn01 View Post

I accept. But they just can't sell the product nude at Apple price. We may eventually have some piece of action too.

P.S. Frankly, what I'd readily consider is some kind of subscription to the special tablet version of some weekly (Paris Match, for one) of superior polygraphic quality, including the access to their archives. E-books come only second.

This tablet may be very different than a product like the AppleTV that currently relys heavily on the iTunes Store to make it work for many users. Not many want to use it for a audio jukebox, image screensaver or convert video.

Weve heard very convincing reports that Apple has talking to newspapers and magazines from other countries about a subscription service and I think Amazon has already broken ground in many countries for eBooks, so the issue doesnt look nearly as difficult as getting digitally streaming movies and TV shows.

Plus, there was talk of a standard model among publishers, Apples iTunes Extra and iTunes LP use an open-standards design, and there are already many ways in which eBooks can be had, even if they are in an unfriendly PDF form.

How is the iTunes Store for music in France? Even with the boundaries isnt the selection good? If so, how long did it take to get to that level?
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post #33 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

This tablet may be very different than a product like the AppleTV that currently relys heavily on the iTunes Store to make it work for many users. Not many want to use it for a audio jukebox, image screensaver or convert video.

I second the point they should have got started with rerouting media distribution channels and with detaching them from iTunes Store.

Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

How is the iTunes Store for music in France? Even with the boundaries isnt the selection good? If so, how long did it take to get to that level?

Well, it should probably be called not bad for general taste and common habitudes to seek quickly through all available tunes and to pick the newest and the hottest things and then to abandon them in just one week.
It's not much when comes to what I'd like to have for myself; yet I still manage somehow to find tracks, which I think are quite rare. What is definitely missing is French (and outdated) video materials. Few to nothing of clips. Only TV series, no movies.

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post #34 of 51
I'm really looking forward to seeing what is happening on the print/book front with the new devices. Most of you have covered the important topics, but here's what's important for me:

1) Content Presentation: I really think that there should be an "iPod" style app produced by apple as part of the base OS4.0. Just as the iPod app handles video/music/audio-books/TV etc, the "eReader" app should handle novels/textbooks/magazines/newspapers/periodicals etc. The presentation of the content within the "eReader" app can be done in whatever way the publisher wants (within a framework such as iTunes LP provided by Apple to enable a consistent development approach for content producers), so long as it is all combined into a single "shelf" for access. The last thing I want to see any more of, is single app ebooks.

2) Costs: This depends on the media, but as a rule,
a) I would want to pay less than the RRP for a novel for the equivalent eBook. I can buy the latest bestsellers with RRPs of £7/8 from Tesco for under £4. I'd love to see the price match the market pricing, but so long as it's less then the RRP, I *might* be tempted. If it's the same, and certainly if there is a premium attached, I won't buy at all. I have about 630 novels (estimated for insurance recently, hence how I know), and I'm perfectly happy to carry on buying physical books.
b) The same goes for magazine and newspaper type media, with the proviso that I would be willing to match the street selling price (something which never get's undercut, unlike for books) on the assumption that there are no adverts. If the adverts stay in, I'm paying less. I'll pay the same to have them removed. I am far more likely to buy subscriptions to magazines and newspapers than I am to buy a book, as unlike with books I don't feel the need to keep the physical article and present it nicely on a shelf, so if they get this right it coul dbe a good earner for them
c) For textbooks, and professional publications that get updated and revised etc, this is the area where they need to do something clever. These things are high cost because they are low volume and specialised, but that needn't be the case in an online store. I'd want to pay a lot less for the 1st copy, but then have the option of subscribing to updates for a minimal cost, or have the ability to keep the edition I have, and pay a one-off cost for a point in time update to the latest edition (say 10-20% for obtaining the current edition of a textbook you have that is backlevel)
post #35 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by dave k. View Post

i really, really hope that apple won't release a $1000 tablet...

$1000.00?
post #36 of 51
[QUOTE=Dave K.;1551849]I really, really hope that Apple won't release a $1000 tablet...

I too hope not.
post #37 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave K. View Post

I really, really hope that Apple won't release a $1000 tablet...

They won't. It'll be $999. That's what they consider a price under $1000.

I really hope that device won't cost $1000, not $900, neither $800. The price should be between $500 and $700. Otherwise, with all this crisis, I don't think they're going to sell too much of those tablets at $800-$1000.
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post #38 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave K. View Post

I really, really hope that Apple won't release a $1000 tablet...

Me to. I don't see the point in it if it costs the much. The only use I can think of, is for it to be a handy device to use in you home. E.g. Play iTunes content to airport express base stations, quickly go on the internet and check your mail. The job that's currently being done (in my case) by either my iPhone which isn't great due to the lack of screen size and flash or my 5 year old iBook which I dont mind keeping under the sofa but takes ages to turn on.

If it costs any more than £300 though then I might as well get somethign else.
post #39 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

publishers also have to adjust the price for the amount of piracy that will occur, with or without DRM.



Why? Imagine an editor pitching publication of a book: "we likely will sell 100,000 at $X.00/each."

Their boss says: "but there will be another 100,000 pirated! So we need to raise the price!"

How does that work?
post #40 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by LTMP View Post

Printing costs are hardly irrelevant. At the low end, you're still looking at a bit under 1¢ per page, plus producing a nice color cover and binding it all together. You end up with raw production costs of a few dollars per book.

At 30% of a $10 book, Apple would be keeping replacing those costs, but eliminating shipping, warehousing and risk.

Seems like a pretty good deal for everyone.

These prices discount authors, editors, and other human resources required to generate publications. A textbook can easily require 10 years to go from an idea to a spot on the shelf of a bookstore. This is a single-author book. Modern freshman textbooks are collaborative efforts that involve 2-3 authors on the binder and 10-15 others named in the foreword. You simply cannot justify that level of effort if the book is priced at 1¢ per page.
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