iPad Weekend Rumor Roundup: Apps, Books and Accessories

This is it, we’re in the final stretch. In a mere five days the iPad arrives. Now that we’re counting down the remaining days in single digits, all manner of ‘leaked’ information is pouring out of the tech blog rumor mill.

iPad to Offer 30,000 Free e-Books at Launch

If you were concerned that you’d only be able to read things on your iPad if you ponied up some cash for the privilege, even if that amount turns out to be less than expected, worry no more. The iPad will launch with 30,000 free e-books.

iBookstore Pricing Leaked: Cheaper Than Expected

According to at least one source, pricing of e-books sold through Apple’s iBookstore will not be as expensive we were initially led to believe. Many sources put the original price of bestsellers between $12 and $14, as compared to the $9.99 sweet spot offered by Amazon.

Gatekeeping the iPad: Apple Being Shrewd About What Will Appear at Launch

How do you control what will and won’t appear on your brand new platform on launch day if you’re Apple (s aapl), without outright banning apps in a way that might invite accusations of attempting to start a monopoly? If it’s the e-book market you’re after, apparently all you have to do is limit pre-release device access.

Amazon (s amzn) was not one of the select few companies that got access to pre-launch hardware with regards to iPad development. Neither was Barnes & Noble (s bks). That honor was reserved for others, like Major League Baseball, the New York Time (s nyt) and the Wall Street Journal (s nwsa). None of which, you’ll note, directly compete for dollars with anything Apple will be offering on the platform. Read More about Gatekeeping the iPad: Apple Being Shrewd About What Will Appear at Launch

Today in Cleantech

You can pre-order an iPad today for delivery sometime in April. It turns out that Barnes & Noble is looking forward to next month too, announcing that it will have a version of its free B&N eReader app available for the tablet around the same time, according to James Kendrick at jkOnTheRun. Like James, I’m left to wonder if this competitor to Apple’s iBooks will run into “issues” during the app approval process. We’ll just have to wait and see…

Today in Cleantech

Here’s a juicy new rumor. According to TechCrunch, Amazon is considering handing out Kindles to its Prime subscribers at no cost. Said customers — presumably its most loyal — pay nearly $80 a year for fast, free shipping on eligible products. It stands to reason that they’ll eagerly snap up e-books too, right? Maybe. If most prime subscribers are of the book buying variety, then it’s a safe bet. If instead they use the program to save some coin on electronics (like me) and a variety of other products, then the picture gets a bit hazy. Regardless, it’s a bold move and one that could help strengthen Amazon’s position in the face of increased competition from Barnes & Noble and Apple’s upcoming iBooks store. At the very least, more customers will experience the wonders of dematerializing the NYT Bestsellers List.