How the Apple iPad Could Kill the Kindle

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacBytes, May 7, 2009.

  1. MacBytes macrumors bot

    Jul 5, 2003
  2. srl7741 macrumors 68020


    Jan 19, 2008
    In my world
  3. JMax1 macrumors 6502


    Oct 17, 2006
    Harlem, NY
    I hope that having an iPhone AND an iPad (or whatever they name it) won't cost me an arm and a leg. Hopefully they'll have a good bundle package or something? Or at least an option to not have to pay extra for one of the devices/month.
  4. swarmster macrumors 6502a


    Jun 1, 2004
    I was hoping this article would explain to me why everyone lately is talking about how if Apple releases a tablet no one will ever want a Kindle, but it doesn't. In fact it goes so far as to say no one cares about the Kindle for its hardware when really it's the hardware that anyone who appreciates the Kindle cares about.

    Reading on backlit computer screens for long periods of time sucks, there's really no coving it up, and there really is no competing with e-ink unless you also have e-ink. (E-ink also provides a big battery life advantage.)

    It may be a perfectly valid argument to say the market for an Apple tablet is bigger than the market for a Kindle, but I fail to understand why everyone is saying an Apple tablet would immediately make the Kindle obsolete when, as far as book-reading is concerned, the opposite is true.
  5. wtmcgee macrumors regular

    May 21, 2003
    At least someone gets it. it really is apples and oranges. The iPad or whatever would undoubtedly be awesome and some folks wouldn't want a Kindle, but they wouldn't really compete in the same space.
  6. kastenbrust macrumors 68030


    Dec 26, 2008
    North Korea
    "Apple's much-rumored iPad"

    I've never called it heard iPad before...ever?! iTablet yes, iBook yes, iPad?!?!?! its too similar to iPod, dont be ridiculous.
  7. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    I think I saw this elsewhere, but iPad sounds too much like someone from Boston saying "iPod."

    Whatever it's called, unless it is about $1,500, it should put a huge dent in the Kindle if it can read eBooks from Amazon and other places. I don't care how good the visual quality of the Kindle is. It's still a $350+ device that only reads books and other digital media from print sources. If this was about five years ago when the iPod was getting started, OK, it has a chance. But with what the iPhone and other smart phones can do, who the heck wants such a limited device? I think even the free cell phones can wipe your butt automatically now.
  8. je_wallace macrumors member

    Jan 26, 2004
    Budapest, Hungary
    iPhone+iPad = 2 great tastes that taste great together

    Imagine if Apple does come up with a Kindle Killer, let's call it an iPad as many others have. Say that iPad ran on iPhone OS 3.0, that seems a given. Say iPad's an independent device with it's own Apple endowed superpowers.

    Couple that iPad together with the iPhone/iPod Touch (which are essentially pocket computers), and what do we have. A netbook? A iPhone with a widescreen? A video conferencing tool? A distributed learning tool? A medical lab on the go? Maybe an iPhone/iPod Touch linked to an iPad could edit or generate documents, databases, images, etc?

    I don't know. But if Apple were to create the IT equivalent of Lego bricks with the iPad, iPhone, etc., these little devices could become more interesting and useful then simply document readers or phones.
  9. paperdoll macrumors newbie

    Apr 19, 2009
    What's more limited, a printed copy of Moby Dick or Kindle?

    Can my copy of Moby Dick instantly change into War and Peace?

    Can my copy of War and Peace instantly change into the book I just heard about on NPR?

    Can I easily fit 30 1000 page books in my bag and still have room for my laptop, school books, and my lunch?

    If I could, could I do that without absolutely killing my back?

    So, you clearly must understand that there are many great reasons to own a Kindle... and just like Apple, Amazon isn't out there to put a Kindle in every single persons hands, they are out there to make the best possible device for what they want to accomplish.

    Since you've posted 2500 times in this forum, it's probably safe to assume that you appreciate Apple approaching their devices in the exact same way. They aren't attempting to make a device that does everything for everyone and push it out the door at bargain bin prices.

    I work with a couple people who had the original Kindle and every single one of them bought the new Kindle the second it was available. I've seen both, played with both, and while I appreciate the concept the material I prefer to read simply isn't available on the device (no, I'm not talking about porn). Until they reach a much much wider swathe of what's available in print, I'm not in the market.

    Now to relate it to your specious "free cell phone" comparison...

    Can any free cell phone do what Kindle does with anything close to the user experience Kindle provides? You probably can't answer this question, since I doubt you've ever seen a Kindle or any e-ink device.

    The answer is no. And not only is the user experience going to be vastly different, a cell phone isn't going to come close to the Kindle in terms of battery life.

    And of course, this is still the one leg up that a real book as over the Kindle... it's not going to run out of batteries.
  10. fteoath64 macrumors regular


    Nov 16, 2008
    Many people are rooting for this device. Called iTablet, iPad, whatever but I figured Apple might just be conservative and call it iBook!. Not the beloved G4 but that name they have used and know before anyway.

    People think cannibalising existing product range, or displacing the iPhone or iPod touch. Few realised that normal users own 2 or more useful devices and some even carry those units a lot of the time. So it is volume business whichever way you look at it.

    I think Apple is just taking their time becuase there are no real competition in the space they are interested in. They wanted to develop a lot more features moving forward. As the iPhone showed that in almost 2 years, they finally hit the "spot" with V3.0 coming soon. Prior versions were sub-par at best (to Apple probably) but compared to others in the market, miles better!.

    They have a tablet device already pretty well nailed technologically with the iPhone platform. Now with gaming, it could split into home console/TV dock device. As an educational and industry specific device, the iTablet can be very useful just be priced reasonably and have huge software support for tied with Corporate/SME apps.

    The iPhone part, the iPhone and its successor can handle and will/should be a separate device. None of those can do the heavy lifting of a Mac or sustained hours of use, if the user has that choice (ie iPhone, iTablet, MBA, MBP).

    So yeah, the market is there for the iPad, ITablet, iWhateverSlab!. Just don't charge us MBA prices for the darn thing ...:eek:. At $400-$500 price range, I will take 3 units please.
  11. Compile 'em all macrumors 601

    Compile 'em all

    Apr 6, 2005
    I have a strong feeling it will be called Macbook Touch.
  12. NewGenAdam macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2008
    " Apple became the world's leading online media store so it could sell more iPods. "

    " Its heart is in the iPods "
    Perhaps initially, but I think the diversification of Apple's software and media distributions indicates a new direction for the company.
    Apple sells music, movies, TV shows, iPhod applications... I don't see why the would keep books out of their catalogue if they have a good means of playback.

    But unless iPad has e-ink, it won't immediately engulf ereaders.
  13. nagromme macrumors G5


    May 2, 2002
    There will always be room for BOTH specialized and multifunction devices.

    Just like there will always be a need for dedicated video camcorders, and yet there will always be a need for still cameras that can do some video. One may do more... but the other does one thing better.

    As for e-ink... I agree that backlighting isn't good for long usage (or battery life) but then that's what we read from all day on our computers and it does the job. E-ink is nice too, but will only be superior (for me) when it gets better contrast. The Kindle I played with was black-on-gray, not black-on-white, which was hard on the eyes in its own way. (Personal call of course.)

    Give me e-ink on a really nice white background and I'm sold!

    I'd also like to do away with ANY buttons to accidentally hit. I want to grab it without a thought, like I do a book. So gestures could be used for everything on my ideal Kindle: swipe (anywhere you like) to flip pages, double-tap to bring up a menu of everything else. (Including, if you wish, the OPTION of one-touch forward/back buttons on the screen, located where you choose.)
  14. ryanide macrumors 6502

    Jul 23, 2002
    i agree, sounds right.

    Sounds about right.
  15. IgnatiusTheKing macrumors 68040


    Nov 17, 2007
    das Fort
    I'm not so sure about "MacBook touch" but it does make sense. I think the "iPad" name is more of a cutesy code word for whatever people think is coming. I don't think anyone honestly expects Apple to use that name.

    At any rate, I'm not so sure I would go for an overgrown iPod touch, by any name. I'm thinking about grabbing a Kindle because of the e-ink. I don't really care that it's only available in B&W, because 99.9% of the books I read are in B&W anyway. Reading for long periods from a computer/iPhone screen isn't great, certainly not comparable to reading from a regular book.

    For me, I think the perfect trio would be my MacBook Air for actual computing (Pages/Word, email, net, etc.), my iPhone (phone/SMS, plus on-the-go email, music, movies and games) and a Kindle (books/PDFs/textbooks). I don't need a the comparatively huge screen of the new DX, but I like the native PDF viewer and textbook capabilities.
  16. kdum8 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 8, 2006
    Tokyo, Japan
    Enjoyable article. I have never seen a Kindle or e-ink ebook reader in the flesh, but everyone says they are much more relaxing to the eyes than an LED screen and of course the battery life is significantly longer. So I don't see it killing the Kindle but it certainly could take a big chunk out of its market though.

    Thing is, if I could only afford one then I would get the Apple iPad or whatever it is going to be called, simply so I could use the internet from a lightweight tablet in comfort.

    Let's hope all the rumours about this device are true. :)
  17. MVApple macrumors 6502a

    Jul 18, 2008
    Two BIG problems with his analysis.

    1. He doesn't take into account that the successful niche market for the Kindle belongs to HEAVY readers. Most of the reading going on in the United States is by a small group of people. These small groups of people have carved an even smaller niche, the Kindle. The Kindle's biggest attraction is it's e-ink display that looks like paper. The majority of people who love reading and spend hours doing it aren't going to want to use a backlit display. This reason alone is why the proposed ipad won't cut deep into an already niche market.

    2. Yes the iphone has had huge success being subsidized, but the majority of people already own a cellphone and see it as essential to their life. Therefore, people aren't doing anything new, they are simply changing the cellphone model they use, even the subsidized business model has been in place for years before the iphone came along. An ipad would introduce a NEW TYPE of device. Everything this device can do will already be able to be done by a normal laptop. The form factor will probably make browsing the web on the couch better, but a laptop is perfectly capable for watching movies on a plane or by the bed.
  18. Mr_Brightside_@ macrumors 68020


    Sep 23, 2005
    The 6ix
    3. He assumes the iPad will be introduced in exactly the capacity he describes. It irritates me to no end when articles (or forum posts, for that matter) do this.
  19. shamino macrumors 68040


    Jan 7, 2004
    Purcellville, VA
    WRT the name, Apple won't use the word "Mac" in it unless it can run existing Mac apps. I don't see that happening, because any such device will cannibalize Mac notebook sales.

    It's more likely to follow the iPod/iPhone model, where apps can only be installed via Apple's on-line service. A 9" iPod Touch would fit the bill.

    I realize an LCD display is nothing compared to e-ink, but I don't think Apple will be selling a "book reader". They'll sell a more generalized device. My prediction is that Amazon will release their own Kindle software for it, just like they've done for the iPhone/iPod Touch platform. (Depending on what the hypothetical new device is based on, it might even be the same program.)
    I think Amazon cares much more about the eBook sales, not the physical devices. Which is why they freely make Kindle software available for the iPhone. It wouldn't surprise me if they end up selling this software for many other phone, PDA and similar platforms, including this hypothetical "iPad".
    Me too. When you're comparing a complete vapor product against a real shipping device, the vapor always wins, because it is whatever you decide to say it is.
  20. lomonosov macrumors newbie

    Oct 1, 2009
    kindle killer

    I am a heavy reader (grad school) and I've been with ebook readers from the beginning. However, these days I find myself reading on my... iPod Touch of all things (came free). Why? Seamless Kindle store + Google Books + Pdf support. None of the other readers offer that combination (and I am not talking about emailing your PDFs to Amazon). This is made possible by the (relatively) open nature of the OS, in that it promotes a healthy developer community (in the way the readers do not). Touch navigation on glass is also much more pleasant and intuitive than the sometimes bizarre interfaces found on Sony and Amazon.

    The iPod Touch is too small to be comfortable, obviously. A larger form tablet will be the final nail in the Dedicated Reader coffin. I expect many different innovative reader apps on the upcoming device. Very excited.
  21. xIGmanIx macrumors 6502a

    Dec 21, 2008
    stop with all the ***** is a ***** killer. the fact is Kindle = real Apple ***** does not. Until the latter materializes, its vaporware. and as some one else mentioned, two different spaces, and personally think they can coexist.
  22. 2002cbr600f4i macrumors 6502

    Jun 21, 2008
    Ok, couple comments....

    First off - yes, there is a small % of the population that reads the vast majority of BOOKS... HOWEVER, there is a HUGE % that consumes media of all types (web, books, podcasts, music, etc.) There are tons of casual readers (like me) for whom the upfront cost of a Kindle is too much to justify the few books we might read per year. To capture those people you need the device to do more than just books/magazines.

    I read "Tarzan, Lord of the Apes" recently using one of the ebook reader apps on my iPhone and generally found it decent. Again, I'm a casual reader. I read about 2 chapters a night and didn't have any issues with the small size or screen. Would the Kindle have been nicer? Sure, but not nice enough to get me over the price tag + having to have another dedicated device around.

    Now, personally, my interest in a mediapad-type device like this is from the standpoint of portable media consumption. I'd like to see it not require a cell connection (just Wifi is fine, since I could just tether it to my iPhone for network which I'm already paying for...) I'm a bit concerned by the "iPhone OS" though as I'm not sure that version of OSX and the apps are really up to the needs of a netbook-type media device. I'd want to do more than just media on it. I'd want to be able to run iWork for document/presentation editing on a plane or whatever. Maybe not as easily or as fast as on a full Macbook, but "good enough".

    For instance, right now, when I travel for work, I have to lug around 2 laptops - My work's Dell D820 (weighs a dang ton!), and my personal 13" Macbook. Why both? Simple - I'm not given Admin on my work machine (don't get me started...) so I can't install any sort of stuff *I* want to do with a computer in my free time. I also don't like the idea of mixing personal stuff on company computers. (Heck, there are times I have to carry an additional Macbook Pro from work... Let me tell you THAT is fun trying to get 3 laptops through airport security!)

    Ideally, an iPad or whatever they end up calling it should allow me to do LIGHT computational tasks (think full Snow Leopard but on an older/slower machine) with maybe some UI enhancements to make it easier to access and work with media (ala iPhone.) Then I could leave the 13" Macbook at home when traveling like this. It wouldn't be a 100% replacement, but it would be easier for traveling.

    Likewise, I currently have to keep a large luggage pack on the back of my Honda CBR600RR sport bike (which makes it look STUPID!) in order to lug my Macbook back and forth with me every day to work (again for personal surfing during breaks.) A fully capable iPad would fit in a small sized tank bag and make things a lot easier.

    But yeah, I don't want it to have a 3G adaptor (or at least not REQUIRE it to be activated). I generally don't like anything that ties/locks you into 1 vendor for service (AT&T complaints anyone?) especially if it requires me to pay for something I already have (cell data service...)

    but yeah, it'll probably end up running the iPhone/Touch OS.. Which is fine as long as the apps are built to support it. Would I buy it even though I can do all the same stuff with my Macbook + iPhone? Probably... Mostly because there are times when I'd still only carry the iPhone, others where I'd want the full power of a full Macbook, and then times when I'd want something 1/2 way between (which is what this would be.)

    I probably WOULD sell my Macbook though since I have a Mac Pro 2009 at home for any heavy lifting tasks...

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