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iPad ad reveals book pricing and NYT button

The iPad television ad that appeared during Sunday night's Oscars ceremony showed off more than the iPad's functionality. It revealed some book pricing, too.

Several of the books had prices clearly displayed (you'll get a better look here), ranging from US$8 to $15. For example, Sen. Edward Kennedy's "True Compass: A Memoir" is listed for $14.99, while "Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Journey to Change the World... One Child at a Time" by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin is priced at $7.99.

By contrast, Appleinsider reports, those titles sell for $19.25 and $7.19 on the Kindle, respectively.

We reported on a leaked list of likely initial iBookstore titles and prices in late February, but this is the first official indication of pricing from Apple -- for the record, all the prices above match up with the file we saw. It's notable that the list appears to include New York Times bestsellers as a separate category, which aligns with the sharp-eyed observations of reader Alejandro; he noticed the distinctive Times logo in the iBooks app at the bottom of the screen (see image below) at the end of the ad.

Based on the leaked list, other titles we might expect to see at launch are "The Last Song" by Nicholas Sparks for $9.99, "U is for Undertow" by Sue Grafton for $12.99 and "The Wrecker" by Clive Cussler for $12.99.

The iBooks application represents Apple's first foray into the ebook market, currently dominated by the Kindle and Nook. The competition is heating up before the iPad even hits stores, as HarperCollins and Macmillan have forced Amazon to re-visit their pricing policies. In January of this year, before the iPad's introduction, Amazon adopted the 70/30 revenue split that the App Store uses. An epic battle is about to erupt which can only mean one thing: Better choices and products for us, the customers!

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