iPad – A Kindle Onslaught, For Real?




The pioneer in e-reading industry seems to have been beaten by a consolidated device that also delivers superb e-reading experience. But is the game over already between Amazon's kindle and Apple's iPad?

When Steve jobs presented the much-anticipated tablet PC, the iPad, during the formal launching of the product, he gave the nod to Amazon for pioneering and revolutionizing the electronic books industry. It was only a matter of time until he took an ominous tone that seemed to threaten to burn Kindle, for good. In Steve Jobs' words, “We’re going to stand on their shoulders and go a little further.” And they have taken e-reading further.

iPad is not exactly an e-reader. It is a hybrid that hovers between a smartphone, a laptop, and in some incredible respects, an e-reading device. What it does exactly, no one can quite pin down. It houses a powerful software that can do anything from playing high definition videos to providing a superb gaming console and, well, everything else in between. E-reading capabilities included. At first glance, iPad seems to run away as a winner in many things. But when pitted against Amazon's Kindle, does it even stand a chance?

The heck it does. Take Steve Jobs' word for it. iPad is a device that can take technologies to much greater heights.

Retailing at $499 per piece, iPad does something more than a $249 Kindle can. It plays all sorts of media very well, it manages Instant Messaging platforms superbly, it allows seamless surfing of the web with the updated and better performing Safari, and has other capabilities that are apparently beyond the reach of Amazon's Kindle.

Now the obvious question, will consumers prefer a multi-functioning device that seems to have consolidated everything from smartphone capabilities to plasma TV capabilities – yes ipad enthusiasts go so far as comparing the glossy multitouch screen of iPad to a plasma TV - to a device that only does one thing – to serve as a platform for ebooks? More importantly, when Kindle's price go up, will consumers still buy it? Apparently, there are some Kindle die-hard fans out there who appreciate everything Kindle.

Kindle is Amazon's blockbuster for a good reason. It is quite simply the best e-reading device out there. It does what no other e-reading device out there does – it takes e-reading experience to a realistic yet more convenient level. It is a no brainer that kindle is not as sophisticated as iPad and that exactly is the selling point for the device. It does house any entertainment applications so users can focus on what they are doing, that is to finish the books they are reading from cover to cover. It also has the slow refresh function which makes it hard for readers to jump from one page to another, making it virtually impossible to skip from one chapter of the book to the next.

Kindle is also much less heavier than iPad. It weighs no more than 1.2 pounds, which is pure convenience for long readers. Compared to iPad which comes at 1.5 pounds, Kindle does not pose any discomfort identical with users who have tried reading with iPad.

So it's a standoff…Apple's iPad has functions that Kindle doesn't even pretend to have but Amazon offers a specialized device that delivers on its promise. In the end, users will still have to decide. Do they need a toy that allows e-reading or an e-reader that does its work very well?

 

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