Earlier in our previous discussions on the Apple iPad, we only contemplated upon reasons to like and dislike the iPad. We largely agree that Apple itself has raised the bar for device standards and user expectations and it is indeed a difficult task to sell a new device. That apart we did not quite look into the competition that the iPad might already have in the market, so let’s see how the iPad fares against its rivals.
As we mention rivals to the iPad the first picture formed in our minds is that of the Amazon Kindle. So we shall first look how the iPad compares to the Kindle.
The Kindle does allow the reader to effortlessly read ebooks but beyond that? In today’s world we need access to media that goes beyond books. We regularly follow blogs, newsfeeds, screencasts, podcasts and even the twitter feeds from those who interest us. This is where the iPad has significant advantages over the Kindle.
While the iPad may beat the Kindle at other multimedia features it still is way behind in terms of battery life for obvious reasons. Owing to the E Ink technology the Kindle can offer more than a week of reading time against ten hours on the ipad, and that is largely going to appeal to the book readers. Book readers don’t need simultaneous applications while they are reading a book of their choice, so the iPad has yet to appeal to this segment of the consumers.
The Kindle is priced similarly to the iPad. So it does make us feel that the Kindle is overpriced. Amazon would have to definitely revamp its device to be able to match up to the price tag. Also, the iPad’s prices will further come down in the future like the iPhone. It may be subsidized similarly by network providers as well as publishers.
Choice of store
While the iTunes store might have an upper hand over Amazon in terms of music and videos the same cannot be said about books. Amazon has a well developed catalogue for books and its recommendations are very helpful. The iTunes store is going to take a while to appeal as much as Amazon to the book-loving community.
So this comparison leads to more than just one conclusion. Firstly, the iPad and Kindle are not exactly targeted at the same consumer segment, at least not yet. The iPad is neither a netbook nor an ebook reader so it has to build for itself a new category as Jobs stated at the device launch.
Tell us what you feel about the iPad and the other ebook readers in the market.