It’s been just about a year since the iPad was announced and many people predicted that it would bury the Kindle in the bowels of tech history, including yours truly. Well, we were all wrong, in fact, not only has the iPad not killed the Kindle, it may have helped spur sales.
The more people who venture into the tablet market, the more people become comfortable with traditional media, such as books, on a digital device. Over the holidays the Kindle has become the best selling product in Amazon’s history, selling an estimated eight million units in 2010.
The Kindle and iPad initially seemed to be similar devices, but after twelve months of usage, most have found they are very different. In fact the two devices are so contrasting that according to a JP Morgan survey, 40 percent of iPad owners also own a Kindle, and 23 percent of iPad owners plan to purchase a Kindle this year. The question is why?
The first is cost. Where the low end in the iPad world will run you $499, the Kindle is a mere $139. Heavy readers like to read in all sorts of places such as coffee shops, subway stations, on the train, even walking down the street. All these locales carry a high risk of “drop-page” and I rather drop a $139 Kindle than a $499 iPad. The Apple tablet is a much heavier device attributing to fatigue in your hands after long periods of usage, especially reading. Finally, the iPad screen is more conducive to playing games and watching movies, really anything except reading a book. Don’t get me wrong, it can be done, and I do it often, but let’s face it, the Kindle is more reader friendly with it’s e-ink technology than the glossy screened iPad.
Besides the benefits the Kindle offers to heavy readers, the unit has become popular in part due to a very aggressive advertising campaign, much like that of the iPad. The Kindle has 76 percent brand awareness not far behind the 84 percent of the iPad. By comparison the next e-reader is the nook with a mere 45 percent.
Not only has the Kindle not folded under the iPad barrage, it has done quite well, and honestly, after purchasing a Kindle for my mother-in-law over the holiday season, I can totally understand why power readers would prefer reading from a Kindle than an iPad. In the end it looks as if there is room for both devices not only in the marketplace, but in our homes.
What deice do you own, iPad, Kindle or both? Do you use them in different fashions? Let me know in the comments below.