Amazon's New Kindle: Still Too Close to the iPad?

In Entertainment, Technology on July 1, 2010 at 1:11 pm
Kindle DX and Kindle 2

Image via Wikipedia

Starting today Amazon is taking orders for its new Kindle DX and while I have no doubt that people will buy it, I really have to wonder just how many.

First off, the device — which ships July 7 — is priced at $379, which is really too expensive to be considered an impulse buy.

And it’s only $120 away from an iPad and it seems to me that’s a little too close.

What makes it a little more confusing is that just last week, Amazon seemed to recognize the importance of lowering the price, which they did with their slightly smaller version.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has frequently claimed that the iPad and the Kindle aren’t really competitors; they’re different devices intended for different people. The Kindle, he says, is for readers unlike tablets, which are for, I guess, everyone else. He said it again just the other day.

Don’t get me wrong. There’s plenty of great things about the Kindle particularly, as cnet points out, that the thing is incredibly readable in sunlight, unlike the iPad.

Still, the thing is if you have a choice between the $189 Kindle and the $379 Kindle, why get the more expensive one? I guess if you really want a device that is really just a reader, it is your answer. But if you’re going to spend the money, why not just bump it up a little and get a device that does so much more?

I think Amazon’s great but I sort of sense this is a stumble for them.

On the plus side, one bit of really good news is that Amazon has finally released Kindle for Android devices.

As I’ve pointed out, Kindle isn’t just a device — it’s software that runs on many devices. I use Kindle on my iPad on a regular basis — and Android has pretty much been the final frontier for them.

Kindle’s great software. The device — at $189 — is great. At $379 — overpriced, I suspect.

  1. Colin — The way the iPad’s high-gloss display is unreadable in bright sunlight is indeed one of the big disappointments I have in the device. And a lot of people use the bright-sunlight thing as an argument for the KIndle’s superiority in ebook reading. But I wonder: How often do I read a book in bright sunlight versus other conditions (i.e., flat light, dim light, no light)? Not very often. Even up, I’ll take the tradeoff. And even more so when you consider the Kindle’s janky controls and jaggy resolution. What I’m saying is, the “You-can’t-read-on-it-in-bright-sunlight” argument strikes me as a little bit of a straw man. You’re right to make the distinction between Kindle the device and Kindle the software, though, as it’s becoming more and more important. And it is indeed excellent software. Amazon ought to just get out of the hardware business.

  2. […] updates Kindle DX, drops priceCNETAmazon Updates Kindle DX, Cuts PriceWall Street JournalTrue/Slant -USA Today -Forbes (blog)all 1,189 news […]

  3. Mr. Miner, you are a complete gadget (ed. note: a word that doesn’t mean “sage one” has been deleted here in the name of civility), and are totally clueless on electronics and consumerism apparently.

    I have been waiting for nearly 2 YEARS for the DX to hit the right price point, and I am willing to bet that thousands of others have as well. My sister and I literally just now placed our pre-orders for the new DX units. What all of you “gadget freaks” want is NOT what those of us who like to read want. I have an iPad, it is ok, but horrible to read on. It is a piece of trash as an e-reader. The Kindle-2, Kobo, Sony, et al, e-readers were a little to eye straining and small. The DX is the perfect size, but until now was WAY over priced. I am guessing that Amazon finally woke up and has not hit the right price point for thousands and thousands of people who were waiting for this.

  4. […] Amazon’s New Kindle: Still Too Close to the iPad? – True/Slant […]

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