Top 10 Reasons Why iPad Marks Kindle’s Death

Caveat: If you missed it, yesterday’s post was 10 Reasons iPad Will Not Kill Kindle. So take everything here with appropriate grains of salt.

10.) Books with graphics. Many books contain photos, graphics and diagrams that the Kindle does not handle well, if at all. When people realize that the iPad will do this flawlessly, they’ll head in that direction. Example: while reading the new Carver biography on my Kindle, an experience that I loved, I had to miss out on all of the pictures collected from Carver’s life. Once you take into account newspapers and magazines, there’s even more weight on iPad’s side.

9.) Cost: Seriously, Amazon really overstepped their boundaries when they set Kindle’s price at around $300, as they did. If they had made it $100 or less, they would have probably have sold 4 or 5 times the number of devices, hooking more readers to their bookstore and their device. Look at Gillette as an example: which costs more—the razor or the razor blades?

8.) “I love my Kindle!” – less than two million people have bought the Amazon product. By comparison, over forty million iPhones and iPod Touches have been sold. No one knows how many folks will rush out to buy an iPad, but if previous iPhone sales and the buzz around the iPad are any indication, this is going to be another big win for Apple.

7.) iPad is a Kindle: just use that free Kindle app on your iPad and you’ve got the whole Kindle store wide open to you. You can even take your whole Kindle library right over to Apple’s iPad with the Kindle App.

6.) Cost, again: with iPad coming in at a low $499 for a device that’s much better made and features much more capability than the Kindle, with at least four times the memory… well, you get the picture. Oh jeez… I just found out the Kindle DX goes for $489. Oh, Mr. Bezos… what are you thinking?

5.) Capability. People don’t want a dedicated reading device: if you can carry around a device the size of your e-reader, but also use it to check email, surf the web, watch TV and movies, listen to music, use office-type apps, etc. then that’s going to win in today’s economy.

4.) Book pricing. It looks like Apple, the diabolical pricers of all songs at $.99, might wind up being the publishers’ darling in the e-book market by pricing their titles higher than Amazon has been. So far it looks like ibooks will be closer to the $14.99 price point that publishers like. Right now, as evinced by this past weekend’s squabble between Amazon and Macmillan, publishers appear to be fed up with Amazon’s pricing strategy. Apple may just become publishers’ white knight.

3.) More like a book. With Apple iPad’s intuitive touch interface, and the ability to turn pages much more like you would with a real, paperback book, it seems like the iPad wins the war in replicating readers’ experience with traditional books. At least in the short term, this appears to be a valuable commodity. Seriously, did anyone think Amazon would design a piece of hardware as beautiful, functional and innovative as Apple would? As “that other Washington State company” already found out, competing with Apple in design categories is a bitch.

2.) The Future Is Now. Simply put, the iPad is sexier. Users of a new device will prefer to look like the lab guy from Avatar with a moving display he can walk around with, or Tom Cruise from Minority Report touching programs with his fingers and moving images around, than they would like to look like that geeky librarian you see on the train in the morning who’s just reading. With the touch interface and video/book/images handheld screen, we can look like the scientists from the movies, and we can do it now. This will catapult Apple’s iPad way past the Kindle.

And Reason Number 1?

Our laps have grown smaller. Sure, we can carry around traditional laptops and use them in multiple places, but for ease of use, portability, interface, battery life and capability, we’ve reached a point in technology where we’re ready to abandon the dedicated keyboard. As users have shown by their affinity for the iPhone, it is time for the next step. And with iPhone’s limited size and lack of software for word processing and document creation, iPad is the answer. Soon we’ll want a device that we can carry around more easily than a laptop, hold in our hands or prop up on our desks, laps, wherever; a device that can show pictures, videos and presentations with a minimum of set up.

When you pit all of this against a clunky (sorry Mr. Bezos—and yes, I should state that I really do like my Kindle) dedicated reader device that does not have an intuitive interface, iPad is the clear winner-to-be.

[The opinions expressed above are not necessarily those of Open Culture or the author.]

Seth Harwood created a large online following for his fiction by serializing his novels as free audio podcasts. His first novel, Jack Wakes Up, came out in May from Three Rivers Press (Random House). He believes the iPad will enable him to further develop serialization options for his writing in text form, but would never let that bias the opinions expressed in top ten lists.



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  1. MtRtMk says . . . | February 3, 2010 / 11:16 am

    Regarding point 10, according to a PC World article, some textbook publishers have already made deals with software developers to bring interactive digital versions of textbooks to the iPad.
    http://www.pcworld.com/article/188427/interactive_textbooks_headed_to_ipad_report_says.html

  2. Seth Harwood says . . . | February 3, 2010 / 12:48 pm

    Very interesting. Another nail in Kindle’s coffin?

  3. Roxie Hanna says . . . | February 3, 2010 / 1:08 pm

    okay, you had me by #5. That’s what I’m interested in: capability…and it’s the #1 reason, for me. Thanks for so much info!

  4. kYork says . . . | February 3, 2010 / 1:11 pm

    10) The percentage of books with graphics that will not display on the kindle is astronomically small. I just did a survey of my bookshelf (around 200 books of everything from memoirs, to tech books, to fantasy novels) and not one of them would have been hampered by the kindle’s e-ink screen.

    9) I couldn’t help but laugh at this one. So you in your infinite knowledge think that had the kindle been $100 cheaper, they would have sold 400% more? Did you learn economics on the back of a napkin at dennys?

    8) I don’t even know how to approach this one. This is like comparing a house to a gazebo. BTW so far the ‘buzz’ around the iPad has been a feverish mix of confusion and disappointment. The iPhone was met with awe and excitement.

    7) e-ink e-ink e-ink. If I had wanted a buzzing lit up screen in my face I’d be laying in bed with a laptop.

    6) I laughed. I’m not even going to approach this one. Re: Apples & Oranges.

    5) So you speak for the world do you? Just so happens I bought my Kindle so I would have a dedicated reading device. If I want to check my email, surf the web, watch tv and movies, or listen to music, I’ll either use my phone or bring a laptop. And the LAST thing I’m going to do on a massive touch screen keyboard is use “office-type apps”. I’ll sooner shoot myself.

    4) Again… I don’t even know where to start with this. Oh wait yes I do, why don’t you go to ANY site that’s been covering this ‘price war’ and read the user’s comments. ANY site. You will find nearly all the comments are around the lines of “I won’t buy a digital copy of a book for $15. I’ll sooner pirate it than that.” I’m serious. Any site. Go right now, I’ll wait.

    3) Wasting my effort to drag my finger across a screen to see some stupid effect is a BENEFIT? I bought a Kindle for the convenience! If I want to replicate the ‘experience’ of reading a book, I’ll read a book! Had the kindle required something as retarded as me pretending like I’m reading a book, I’d have not bought it. I guess simple minds are easily amused though.

    2) Lol. So now the iPad’s defining feature is you can pretend like you’re in the movie Avatar? I’m starting to question your sanity more and more…

    1) You’re HONESTLY saying this with a straight face? You’re seriously going to say people prefer an onscreen keyboard to a physical device? Yea, they prefer a PHONE with an on screen keyboard because it means the phone can be half the size! Next time you watch somebody type on an iPhone, try counting the number of times they hit the backspace key. It’s almost humorous were it not so sad.

    This article makes fox news look fair and balanced.

  5. John Lovell says . . . | February 3, 2010 / 4:08 pm

    “iPhone’s limited size and lack of software for word processing and document creation.”

    Limited size = fits in my pocket.
    Word processing, etc. = Documents to Go and Quickoffice both let me create and edit Word documents, and sync them with the originals on my computer or my iDisk.

  6. MtRtMk says . . . | February 3, 2010 / 7:47 pm

    Interesting points for and against in the two lists. Hard to say how things will pan out, but I suspect that point 8 in this list might turn out to be a significant factor. iPad may well overtake Kindle through sheer number of buyers. Time will tell how Kindle vs. iPad turns out.
    Having said that, going beyond the kindle vs. ipad debate, I do get the sense that iPad has not been ‘the’ killer revolutionary product. I don’t think the iPad has lived up to the hype and expectations. Apple could have done much better.

  7. Seth Harwood says . . . | February 3, 2010 / 8:39 pm

    kYork,

    Wow! I’m glad we can see the humor in each other’s ideas. Seriously? Seriously.

    :-)
    I’m laughing. May I refer you to my post of yesterday, on why Kindle will outlive the iPad?

    Seth

  8. Seth Harwood says . . . | February 3, 2010 / 8:41 pm

    John,

    Very interesting. I’m going to go download Documents to Go and Quickoffice right now!

    Seth

  9. Seth Harwood says . . . | February 3, 2010 / 8:44 pm

    I’ve just decided: my next post will be titled “Top Ten Reasons Why Those Who Love Their Kindle Respond Much More Vigorously to Blog Posts Favoring Apple Products.”

    Love it! Yes, I’m “fair and balanced.”

  10. Cindy says . . . | February 4, 2010 / 9:30 am

    I tend to disagree. Not everyone wants an ebook reader that is heavy and that can do many things. When I read I read. I don’t want to be distracted by a web browser, music player or anything else for that matter. The iPad is over-rated, expensive and not all that impressive. I will gladly use my laptop when I want to surf the web or watch videos.

  11. The MotherHood Magazine says . . . | February 4, 2010 / 9:33 am

    Form and function win every time; consumers can take the iPad with them to the bedroom, the bathroom and the beach.

  12. Seth Harwood says . . . | February 4, 2010 / 12:22 pm

    Seems like this divide might never be bridged…

  13. Josh says . . . | March 15, 2010 / 2:45 pm

    Seriously, do you not understand that it’s bad for your eyes to stare at an LCD screen? The reason to buy a kindle, the reason it is expensive, is that it’s screen is more advance than that of an Ipad.

    Electronic Ink, look it up.

  14. Scott says . . . | May 5, 2010 / 4:29 pm

    iPad won’t touch Kindle.

    I am a Apple Geek and couldn’t wait to get an iPad. My wife has had a Kindle for months and loves it. Got my iPad, and was drooling to read by the pool…The above post says “bedroom, bathroom, and the beach.” Better scratch the beach.

    The screen cannot be read in direct sunlight. It washes out even with the brightness on it’s highest level. Secondly (and the death nail for me) the iPad overheats in sunlight on a moderately warm day. It was 83 degrees and the iPad was good for about 15 minutes before it shut down due to heat and had to be taken inside.

    I returned the iPad and ordered another Kindle.

  15. Seth Harwood says . . . | May 5, 2010 / 4:32 pm

    Scott,

    Wow! That’s awful. Thanks for the comment and letting us know!

    Seth

  16. iPad textbooks says . . . | July 15, 2010 / 6:50 am

    How about college textbooks? Most students would probably use the Kindle app for iPad since there are more Kindle titles available, but there are still a lot of titles not available for either. And the discounts are pretty minor in many cases.

  17. AURELIAN says . . . | July 26, 2010 / 12:55 am

    This invention of iPad seems to be quite impressive but it would have been better if it runs on solar energy as the current scenario of the ecosystem leading to global warming is concerned.

  18. Ada says . . . | July 27, 2011 / 1:24 am

    There is one reason that kindle can still live well beside the iPad, that’s its lower price.

  19. Seth Harwood says . . . | July 27, 2011 / 1:48 pm

    Ada,
    Agreed! And since I wrote this, it’s really come down in cost too. Back then it was still right around $200!

    Cheers and thanks for reading,

    Seth

  20. PDF Converter says . . . | April 9, 2012 / 6:33 am

    iPad is much better than Kindle, but it does not mean kindle will die in the future. There are still people who can’t afford a iPad.

  21. Disorderly conduit says . . . | June 8, 2012 / 7:21 am

    They said the same about rugby league.

  22. Bole says . . . | August 15, 2012 / 8:45 pm

    For people who wants to read books,readers with E-ink are the ONLY good solution. IPad have no chance…period !
    I have both of them .
    And saying that Kindle is option for people who can’t afford a iPad is plain stupid statement, tipical for dumb Apple fanboys…

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