Amazon: Kindle Will Compete with iPad by Focusing on Reading

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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos told shareholders on Tuesday that his company’s Kindle would compete with Apple’s iPad by focusing on one thing, reading. The company intends to continue to aim the device at serious readers, and believes that if it does so, it can offer a superior reading experience to other devices, including the iPad.

“There are always ways to do the job better if you are willing to focus in on one arena,” Mr. Bezos said, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Mr. Bezos also said that Amazon had rejected color LCD displays for the Kindle, and that it would stick with the reflective E-Ink screens developed by E Ink Corporation. The CEO said he has seen color reflective products in the lab, but that such displays are, “not quite ready for production,” and that a Kindle with a color display was “still some way out.”

The Kindle was the first successful dedicated e-reader on the market, and the company had a multi-year lead on Apple when the iPad was released in April. Apple’s iPad has been wildly successful, however, and a survey released May 20th found that iPad owners are reading more newspapers and magazines than owners of other devices, including the Kindle.

Books, however, are Amazon’s main focus for media on the Kindle, and Mr. Bezos told shareholders that he believes the sweet spot for pricing on best-seller books is US$9.99. Though the Journal said he didn’t offer details, Mr. Bezos said that Amazon has seen a shift from books priced over $10 to those priced below $10 since the company gave publishers more power over pricing in April.

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9 Comments Leave Your Own

Tiger

iPad will kick Kindle’s butt by enhancing reading with interactive multimedia.

Face it, the Kindle is the World Book Encyclopedia and the iPad is the Internet.

The Kindle would have been space age in 1995. These days, it’s like my old TI calculator.

Lee Dronick

I think that you are spot on there Tiger.

geoduck

I agree. My first reaction was “Good luck with that”.
On further thought, hasn’t Amazon put out Kindle Apps for other platforms? Macs, PCs, the iPhone.iPad? I take that as a tacit acknowledgement that the Kindle won’t be how Amazon sells most of it’s e-books in the mid to long term.

This is especially true of periodicals which will likely be more and more optimized for true tablets, with interactive media built into the publication.

Dogbrain

I’m curious what you think about this…

We are in the very very early days of the convergence of, well, everything. In particular, today it looks like books and movies are two completely different things. But with the digital revolution, they are just now starting to converge.

First, printed materials - when viewed on line - are full of visuals including movies. And once it is easy to insert movies into books, it will happen more and more. It adds value and will please the market.

In the other direction, it’s less clear: Movies have a little printed content now - the titles, the credits, subtitles, and occasional words flashed here and there. But they easily could have more, and it could be more user directed. Maybe in the future we’ll be able to hold our finger on the face of someone in a movie we are watching on our iPad version 6, if we have forgotten exactly who the character is. The person’s name will pop up, along with links to their first appearance so we can go back and see what we missed. Also, of course, links to their filmography and IMDB.

Eventually, both books and movies will be called by the same name - Call them boovies. Then we’ll say, “Hey, how’s that boovie?” “Pretty good, but too much text”. “Dude, I like a lot of text in my boovies.”

In this world, it’s 100% iPad and 0% Kindle. Of course, by the time there is any significant convergence between books and movies, there will be Android-o-Readers and Windows Phone Slate Seven’s and who knows what else.

Anyway, whatever is technically possible will happen, and that convergence is certainly possible.

Lee Dronick

We are in the very very early days of the convergence of, well, everything. In particular, today it looks like books and movies are two completely different things. But with the digital revolution, they are just now starting to converge.

Vox, the talking wall, in the 2002 version of The Time Machine.

mahuti

it can offer a superior reading experience to other devices, including the iPad.

Perhaps a great reading experience when reading in the dark? Nope. I read books on my iPhone as my wife is sleeping. I guess serious readers don’t read as they’re passing out into sleep.

Or maybe they’ll have a great experience reading books printed in color. Nope. Serious readers HATE color.

Personally the Kindle kind of offends me. I balk at the price based on what I see as limited value compared to other devices (iphone, itouch, ipad.) If it was $50 maybe it wouldn’t irritate me so much, but I have to agree with the “cutting edge in 1995” remark. It just isn’t up to snuff.

I hear the gripe about the iphone and the ipad alot that you can’t read on them… they hurt the eyes. I guess that might be true for some, but I spend all day reading content on the internet and email on a computer… which basically is the same screen as an iphone. Many people read on their computer all day, and they don’t really gripe about that. If the Kindle’s screen is so great and its so impossible to use an ipad to read I don’t see why those people are not screaming for e-ink monitors. Oh that’s right, I forgot, they don’t work in dim light, and don’t show color.

Lee Dronick

I haven’t yet even seen a Kindle, but I have played around with a Nook. It was nice and light in weight, but I did not like the way the text painted on the screen when changing pages, seemed to take too long. Does not the Nook use the same “ink” technology as the Kindle?

As to multimedia. When reading a novel or poetry it is fun to let my imagination paint the scene. On the other hand when say reading about gears and transmissions, or how weather patterns work having video in addition to illustrations will be a tremendous help.

Intruder

My experience is that the Kindle does page refreshes much cleaner than the Nook.

Terrin

I doubt you read a lot of books for pure enjoyment. I have used both the Kindle and iPad for reading books. The Kindle is very kind on the eyes. There is no backlight associated eye strain. The iPad is no different then trying to read a book on the computer. After a short while there is eye strain. When you are reading for pure pleasure (e.g. a book), I’d take Kindle any day because when you are trying to relax you don’t want your eyes to hurt.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the iPad and think it rocks. It would just be a lie to say it is a better reader for books then the iPad. The iPad is great, however, for magazines, the Internet, shorter kid books (e.g. those with pictures) and other types of reading.

iPad will kick Kindle?s butt by enhancing reading with interactive multimedia.

Face it, the Kindle is the World Book Encyclopedia and the iPad is the Internet.

The Kindle would have been space age in 1995. These days, it?s like my old TI calculator.

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