Blog Post

Nevermind iPad, Kindle’s Flame To Still Burn Strong

Only if you were flying transatlantic the whole day, could you have missed the brilliant lights of reality distortion field hovering over the privileged earth yesterday. Oh wait, I was. Someone who tried to avoid it while being on terra firma — an admirable task — was Douglas Anmuth, analyst at Barclays Capital. In a research note this morning on Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN), in light of Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) iPad launch, he puts it thusly: “The Kindle is still significantly cheaper & will continue to appeal to somewhat of a different market given advantages like E-Ink screen, smaller form factor, better battery life, & lower weight.”

His main points:

— Total cost of owning an iPad (assuming a $30 monthly data plan and 3 yr product life) is roughly 6x-7x the cost of Kindle 2 (priced at $269 and likely going lower). Also, with an E-Ink screen, smaller form factor, lower weight, and better battery life, the Kindle may appeal more to serious book readers

— While AMZN still dominates the e-book mkt & has an edge in selection, AAPL could emerge as AMZN’s first major e-book competitor as it sells more iPads and adds new publishers to its store.

— AAPL’s support of e-pub could further increase the pressure on AMZN to abandon its proprietary format putting at risk lucrative lock-in revenue.

5 Responses to “Nevermind iPad, Kindle’s Flame To Still Burn Strong”

  1. I think those who haven’t used a Kindle don’t get the essential differences Manu J point out above.

    I have both a Kindle and an iPhone and use both to read books (iPhone thru the Kindle App). I love the way the two devices synch your location in the current book you are reading, but the Kindle is superior for dedicated reading because of the digitial ink, non-back lit screen.

    That being said, I love that I can read my book on the iPhone at a moments notice should I find a few minutes, such as sitting in traffic here in LA (just kidding). Amazon could learn a lot from Apple’s ease of use and intuitiveness.

    IMO, the bottom line is that the two devices will be very complimentary to one another and help Amazon sell even more e-books. I don’t think iTunes will become a big competitor to Amazon for books in the near future.

  2. dbhebbard

    The battle will be over content. Kindle has a built in advantage right now, but if Apple can get newspapers and magazines on board, then the iPad would be a better choice given that it does so much more. The problem for Apple: unlike the iPhone, where it “reinvented” the phone (according to Jobs’ keynote), the iPad depends on the media industry to reinvent media. Would you want to have to have your product’s success dependent on the creativity and genius of the old media moguls? My take on this here: which will occur first: creative, revolutionary media will be created for the iPad, or Amazon will update the Kindle so it has color, multimedia and more iPad-like features?

  3. Excerpt from my blog post


    Screen: EInk is well suited for long reading. LCD screens are strenous

    Battery Life: At 7 days, there is no need for you to fret about battery life. iPad will most likely need daily recharges

    Ebook collection: Kindle library has a larger collection of ebooks than the iBooks store. But Apple will most likely catch up soon.

    Free wireless in home country. Global Wireless available with downloads charged

    Size: The smaller kindle is a perfectly adequate ebook reader

    Ebook prices: Amazon is currently pricing thhem at below cost at $9.99