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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Comments (22)
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  • MtRtMk says:

    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.

  • Seth Harwood says:

    Very inter­est­ing. Anoth­er nail in Kindle’s cof­fin?

  • Roxie Hanna says:

    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!

  • kYork says:

    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.

  • John Lovell says:

    “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.

  • MtRtMk says:

    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.

  • Seth Harwood says:


    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 Harwood says:


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


  • Seth Harwood says:

    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.”

  • Cindy says:

    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.

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

  • Seth Harwood says:

    Seems like this divide might nev­er be bridged…

  • Josh says:

    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.

  • Scott says:

    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.

  • Seth Harwood says:


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


  • 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.

  • AURELIAN says:

    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.

  • Ada says:

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

  • Seth Harwood says:

    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,


  • 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.

  • Disorderly conduit says:

    They said the same about rug­by league.

  • Bole says:

    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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