Amazon Knocks iPad in Kindle Commercial

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Amazon is knocking Apple’s iPad in a new commercial promoting the Kindle. In the ad (see below), Amazon shows a dorky-looking iPad owner (sunning himself poolside in a T-shirt and khaki shorts) frustrated with not being able to read his device in daylight, while the bikini-clad Kindle user next to him has no such problem.

The Kindle doesn’t include backlighting, using a display technology called E-Ink that doesn’t require (or offer) backlighting. The iPad, however, has higher resolution display that features backlighting, which some consider harder to read in situations with bright lighting, such as outsider during daylight.

Kindle dominated the dedicated e-reader market with its Kindle, with few devices intended to compete with it having much success. Apple’s iPad, however, has been a monster success, due in part to the fact that it can do much more than the Kindle, and because of its rich, high quality viewing experience.

Of course, Amazon offers a Kindle app on the iPad (and iPhone/iPod touch), as it does for the Mac, Windows, and even Android devices. Still, the company has remained aggressive with its dedicated Kindle hardware, having lowered the price for its entry-level device to US$139, as noted in the commercial.

Amazon Kindle Commercial

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Ted Landau

Also, have those two try to read their devices in a dark room at night. Advantages reverse.

John Martellaro

Plus, you couldn’t see the bikini-clad Kindle user either.

Lee Dronick

Maybe he was trying to run an app, send an email, view a movie or something else that is a standard feature on the Kindle.

She paid more than $130 dollars on a pair of sunglasses!


Try to read a People Magazine on a Kindle. Oh wait, it’s black and white, right? Not even.

Four level gray-scale? Heck, our first laser printer was better than that. Sure, different technology, still used to present text. FOUR?

And no, I don’t own an iPad, or Apple Stock. Just an iPhone and I don’t read books on it.

I read books.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

The funniest part of this commercial is how iPad guy is in a T-shirt. He has no chance with her.

Not to nitpick Bryan, but the Kindle DX (Graphite) has a 150 ppi display, while iPad is 132 dpi. So Kindle actually has higher resolution, even if iPad has more pixels.

@Tiger: 16 level greyscale. That’s 4-bit. Always check Wikipedia before assuming things suck as bad as you think. grin


No one with an IQ over 100 reads People magazine.

You can read a Kindle just fine in a dark room at night. Just turn on a lamp or use a book light, the same as if you were reading a book.


Now, now, let’s all get along… Both have their uses… Kindle is for reading, not pictures or color or movies, and it’s smaller and works well in sunlight, I-pad is for lots of other things and works in the dark and costs a lot more… And on the issue of price, for $60 more, the $189 kindle with free internet is the better deal than the $139 version, but anyone spending more than $100 on sunglasses probably isn’t terribly concerned with price anyhow…


I came back to correct myself. I overlooked the new model’s specs. I see they upgraded to 16 levels from their original 4. Whoa. 16. Really stretching it there.

And the point about the magazine is that hmm, like most it has color. Many books do too. And scientific journals. Newspapers. Aren’t we supposed to criticize technology if it limits the user experience and blocks content? Happens here daily.

But hey, they’re selling…some. Not as many as people would probably think….per Wikipedia
Specific Kindle sales numbers are not released by the company, but Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of, stated in a shareholders’ meeting that “millions of people now own Kindles.”[42] According to anonymous inside sources, over three million Kindles have been sold as of December 2009[43], while external estimates as of Q4-2009 place the number at about 1.5 million.[44]

Spencer Marstiller
Spencer Marstiller

The Kindle does what it does better than the iPad.  And the iPad does more.  Saying the iPad is a better e-reader than the Kindle because of everything else it does is like saying my computer is a better music player than my stereo.  Sure my computer does more but if I really want to listen to music I’ll take my stereo over it every time.


The Kindle does what it does better than the iPad.?

I would have to agree.  If all I wanted was a dedicated e-book reader, then I’d opt for the Kindle.  Cheaper, lighter, easier to read in the sunlight.  Problem is, I couldn’t check email, surf the web, show off my vacation photos, or smash those STUPID pigs in “Angry Birds”!!



I’m an avid reader who owns both devices.  Here are my observations:

For me, the kindle wins hands-down for reading (books, but nothing else).  Why?

* Weight - especially for long reads
* One-handed operation
* Battery life means I don’t have to plug/unplug from charger every day
* Ability to read in sunlight
* Distractability - on my iPad, I end up reading email, surfing the web, etc. when I want to try to relax with a book instead.  This is really a “fault” with me, the human, not the device - but the device encourages bad behavior wink

I agree with others that a color kindle, or at least one which could do grayscale graphics reasonably, would be a huge improvement - I wouldn’t read a magazine on my kindle.


Interesting comments.

I have the Kindle 3, an IPhone, and Apple stock.

I like the IPhone but I LOVE the Kindle. If you want to read books the K3 is the winner hands down.

And frankly I prefer my laptop to the IPad.

I do like my Apple stock though!


Has anyone else noticed that the lady has on a pair of shades…the iPad can be read with a person wearing shades also…Dah…


This commercial is about the dumbest I’ve seen in a while.

The lady with the kindle is wearing SUNGLASSES and the guy with the other device ISN’T… It doesn?t take a Rocket Scientist to conclude that it?s easier to view the screen when wearing SUNGLASSES on a bright sunny day!! I cringe every time I see this ridiculous commercial; it’s an insult to humanity. It should be taken off the air A.S.A.P.


Seems like somebody forgot their high school physics. The reflections on the screen will be there no matter if you have sunglasses on or not. The ipad has a glossy display, while the kindle has a matte display like a sheet of paper, which of course means that the ipad screen reflects a lot more light than the kindle screen does. The kindle really does let you read in bright day light without any problems. smile

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