iPad killed the KIndle

iPad’s iBook feature just killed the Kindle.

You have to be out of your mind. They are two completely different things. The kindle has strengths that the iPad can’t even touch, though on the other hand it is a very specialized device.

BTW, don’t get me wrong, I am a HUGE Apple fan and I might get an iPad, but it is simply impossible to compare the Kindle with the iPad. It’s like saying Harley Davidson just killed Toyota.

He is.

I’m siding with Guido on this one. If anything, I think the iPad will only make the Kindle and other such readers stronger in the long run. If Apple’s foray into the e-book market takes off, which it might very well (but it remains to be seen), they’ll be pushing a price point that will cause the other distributors to get a little closer to sanity. Kindle books are already pretty cheap, especially if you buy a lot of new releases, but they are still priced above what is reasonable when you consider the fulfillment chain is not even comparable in complexity. Another area where I applaud Apple is supporting ePub. Hopefully that will push other vendors in that direction as well.

But yes, totally different devices. The Kindle is a book replacement device, and it feels like one. I can read from a Kindle all day long and not feel tired or eye fatigued. This experience simply cannot be reproduced by a glowing screen. There are probably going to be other ergonomic issues as well. You can read lying down with a Kindle, really easily. Not so much with an iPod Touch, and the experience is going to be similar with the iPad, especially so if Apple neglected to provide an accelerometer lock for iBook, but even if it does, it will require more “jostling about” due to lack of dedicate page buttons.

The iPad is a netbook replacement device, or at least that is what they are billing it as. Whether or not it can succeed in that without an integrated tactile keyboard and native OS applications is uncertain at best. It wouldn’t shock me either way, really.

I guess the test for me is, if I had the cash to spend on it, would I get one? I think so. Would it replace my Kindle? Absolutely not. It would however, probably replace my Asus Eee. Maybe. The Asus can still do things the iPad cannot, like get thrown across the couch because it’s worth $150 and I know it can take a bump or two. It’s disposable hardware. I’m not sure the iPad (even in its cheapest configuration) will quite fit that particular aspect of the netbook; one thing Apple still doesn’t “get” about them, in my opinion.

Another major difference is battery life. As expected, the iPad has quite a drain. Listed with a battery life of ten hours, the reality of it will be more like 8 hours, if that. That does not even cover a transcontinental flight, let away all the waiting associated with it.

The short battery life alone makes the iPad practically useless as an eBook reader but if you add the screen and other aspects to it, it just is not a good eBook reader.

It is a cool device, though, but for other kinds of uses.

And don’t you ever dare to drop your iPad…

Lets compare


Or in laymen terms

Compared to

In the end when compared to each other. The Kindle sales to date will be shadowed by iPad sales I bet within the first 48 hours of the iPad release. The rest is simple economics. It is the Betamax versus VHS argument. In the end the market will determine the winner. So I stand by my previous remarks. The iPad will kill the Kindle simply by the “wow” factor alone.

I mean how many people have iPods versus how many people still use Sony Walkmans.

Even if you are right about the sales figures, (which I have my doubts, it wouldn’t surprise me if the iPad ends up being somewhat niche) it still wouldn’t matter to the debate. I’m sure laptop sales tower over Kindle sales, but that doesn’t mean “the laptop wins”. :slight_smile:

As for the pictures, I’m not sure how they match the devices in question; what they are supposed to prove. A better comparison, I think, would be a home theatre rig compared to a large computer monitor. The latter is certainly more flexible and arguably equal to better display, but guess which one gets used the most to watch movies? One is highly capable at performing a specific function very well, the other is a flexible device that can do a lot of things, but because of that very nature, ends up being more the “geek’s solution” to the problem. Posting pictures of ancient black and white televisions is just hyperbole. We are talking about books here, I don’t see much call for high-def books. So long as the words are getting conveyed, the job is getting done. A book accomplishes this very well, e-Ink readers are about on par with ink and paper, glowing screens with their high power usage and eye strain do not compare.

What struck me as odd is that Apple isn’t hitting the magazine market. That’s where it could compete against e-ink (for now anyway). Kindle is hopeless for many magazine formats that rely on visual presentation, like National Geographic. Such would fit in nicely on an iPad and would better fit the usage profile for magazine reading as well.

The iPad might have been a Kindle killer if had a Pixel Qi display (or something like that), a display that has two modes, one full colour mode like usual displays and a black and (almost) white no backlit mode.

Only then it would be a really great reading (and writing) device. Now it’s just cool and good looking but who would really read on it for longer periods of time?

Useless device unless you are a fanboy(girl).

A less capable iPhone. A slightly more capable iPod. Just build a real tablet and knock this shite off.

This one device is causing me to rethink Linux. I am so tired of hearing developers put off real work to develop for this crap. While bother supporting this company at all?


Pixel Qi definitely would have been interesting. As comfortable a surface as e-ink provides, there is I fear only so much that can be done in pushing molecules of ink around. Maybe someday it will be fast and colourful enough to replace paper and even laptop screens, especially if it can be optionally lit, but I wonder if there will be some third technology like Pixel Qi that ends up taking the cake, in the end.

I’m finding myself more and more in the camp Jaysen so well describes. I just don’t think this going to be what Apple hopes it will be. I could be wrong, maybe in five years everyone will be walking around with an iPad like a science fiction movie, but I don’t think it’s going to happen quite that way.

Just about the only thing that made me sit up and say “wow” (though with a hint of dismay) about during the presentation was: An Apple Chip?! Where did that come from? That completely escaped the rumour mill.

If it cannot run Scrivener, then I have no use for it at this time.

They bought a chip design a company a year or so ago.


As for e-ink, I read an interesting article in the Times last year about all the R&D going on in this area right now, and there’s some interesting stuff “around the corner” (i.e. some of it will be out in the next five years the rest of it won’t ever be possible):

technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol … =12&page=2

iBooks looks great, but I’m disappointed its just a standard LCD display. My eyes are tired enough after staring at the computer all day, I don’t want to stare at another LCD display for reading. That’s where the e-ink displays of the Kindle and Sony Reader shine, and I think that while the iPad will “win” simply because it’s a general-purpose (sort of) device and looks cool, the better reading experience is still to be had on the e-ink readers. It’s a shame - I saw a video recently of an LCD display that could have its backlight turned off and still have a clear enough display to work as a rather nice e-reader. That would have been a decent compromise.

Jaysen - I don’t see you so angry very often, blimey! Not all developers are running off to develop for the iPad or iPhone…


Of the 3 or so apps that I am willing to pay for (yours is above this list in the super category reserved for OS) every single one is stalled waiting for the developer to remove his cranium from his rectum and drop iPhone development. As stated by others, some tasks require a computer. Deal with it.

I have yet to have a “great” experience with any iPhone app. I no longer consider the iPhone a viable platform for anything other than iTunes, map tools, and the “dear god save me from this meeting” web surfing.

The iPad is the closest thing to a complete and total waste of natural resources (in human brain power and actual materials) as anything I have ever seen. Who in their right mind needs this thing? Give me a tablet. A real tablet. Give it the touch interface AND A STYLUS. Give it a real OS. [size=120]GIVE ME A TOOL I CAN USE![/size]

Think about it, IBM, HP, Compaq, and GATEWAY (the only company that I consider worse than eMachines for bad hardware) had real M$ winblows tablets 5 years ago. Anyone hear of modbook? Hey apple, someone is making money off your arrogant stupidity.

And if this doesn’t show you how idiotic that “power that is” acts consider that for $300 one can make an illegal Apple net book. Why can’t someone in Cupertino get to synapsis to fire at the right to to make a statement like “Hey, I have a brilliant idea: let’s buy OEM Mini 10v from Dell with a white case and use the code those guys wrote to hack our installer and but a netbook out for $400? We would get a markup and look like we actually gave a rats anterior sphincter about what our customers really want.”

Am I mad? I guess so. I like apple systems. I want to buy solid products from an innovative company. I am too old to buy “cool toys” that serve no purpose or function in my adult life.

Hee! Hee! Really? And you don’t consider the latter three things to be extremely useful? Lemme know how well your Mini 10v does for finding the nearest Metro stop while you’re walking in circles in damp fog with Snort muttering to you about calling someone to ask for directions. :slight_smile:



Your posts show very clearly that you do not understand what people want from an eBook reader. They do not want it to be another thingiemagadget. They want it to be an easy to read device that has an exceedingly long battery life and doesn’t strain the eyes. you BW vs. color TV is just ridiculous. This is not a question of one being better than the other, it is a question of one thing being one thing and the other thing being an entirely different thing.

If you really need to compare them you would have to say, the Kindle is a piece of Kobe beef whereas the iPad is a taco.

Keith, most certainly that was a Pixel Qi display:



I have never seen these displays in real life and I don’t know how much this technology can be improved—I heard that the viewing angle is less then perfect, similar to the one of early TFTs, and the contrast could be higher.

But the idea of having only one machine and, for you even more important, only one OS for both entertainment or otherwise colour stuff and an eye friendly reading and writing experience in my opinion would be far more than just a compromise.

Lots and lots of articles and books have been written about how the computer and the internet have changed our way of reading and thinking, how our attention span has been reduced drastically &c. I wonder if this is not due to eye restraint above anything else, which would mean our brains could be readjusted to a third way, the best of the digital and the analog world. As soon as there is a decent display.

On the other hand back-lit displays have a good side: Texts of any length would have been illegally copied and sent around in huge numbers back in the days of the modem already. Writers would have been robbed from their royalties long before musicians and film makers because letters don’t need much bandwidth. The Complete Shakespeare fits on a floppy. It was just the uncomfortable viewing devices that saved us a little time.

The iPad as it is is no surprise at all coming from a company that is lead by a admitted non-reader.

I think Apple will - indeed are already doing deals if rumours/reports in the UK are to be believed*. I suspect that the kinds of “enhanced” magazine experience hitherto delivered by, say Zinio, will get quite a boost from devices like this. Think of those racks of magazine titles on the news-stand that could get iPad-ised. In years to come it may become the standard way to read any kind of magazine to which video and other forms of consumer-responsive material can be added: travel, sports, activity, music, hobby, consumer, current affairs, computer, porn, to name just a few. Pricing will be key.

So will the capabilities of the device. A complaint about the Zinio format I frequently hear is: “You can’t take your laptop in the loo…” (About windsurfing magazines…) But the iPad…? However - thinking of another environment where magazines are often read - I wonder how the iPad screen copes with sunlight?


  • In fact, are deals really necessary? Doesn’t a magazine publisher simply have to get Apple to accept an iPhone app?

so we agree. What is your point?

Just today I was sitting with my wife in the living room, both of us using our MacBooks. I started to wonder (the marketing guys at Apple did a marvelous job): what am I actually doing with it? Reading - the web, mail. Writing. Hooking it up to my TV and watching some movies there. Thats it, I think. I could probably do all that with an iPad, depends on the software and syncing stuff to/from my MacPro or to the hard-drive connected to my airport station (preferably). I do all my outlining and researching on my MacPro, since I got used to the two big displays attached to it. So, in the end I would consider getting an iPad if I would have to buy a replacement for my MacBook.

I do wonder if it might be possible to publish a novel in iTunes as an author without having a publisher. Since, AFAIK, Scrivener 2 is supposed to have ePub support.

Regarding the Kindle-killer thing:
For some reason - that is, apart from never being properly introduced in Germany at all - the Kindle never appeared on my tech-radar. I’ve never seen this thing for real and I sincerely hope it does look better in reality as it looks on Amazon’s site. The iPad, however, looks a bit like a oversized iPhone, which it is, in the end. I will have to see it for real; my first impression after seeing the pics: not as bad looking as the pics of the Kindle. So far, I would place my bet on the iPad - what a name - and not the Kindle. Earlier in my life I used to read 10+ hours a day, not any more, so for me - just me - battery life is not an issue. What bothers me is the display and how readable it is in daylight, if it’s readable at all. And the weight. 800 g is not much, but for longer reading it might become tiresome. I do have a couple of books which are breaking the 1-kg-barrier easily, you really do know you have read a mighty book after a couple of hours…
Summing up: if the display is fine, even in direct sunlight - which I doubt - I can’t envision a way for the Kindle to survive, at least in Germany. The iPad, for being a big iPhone, is known territory; a factor I wouldn’t underestimate. Not here.