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.