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iPads vs. E-Readers: Things Looking Good for Apple

In Entertainment, Media, Technology on July 14, 2010 at 12:22 pm
Image representing iPad as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

It’s not a new theme — in fact, earlier this month, I touched upon it — but the evidence seems to be building that e-readers face a tough road ahead.

According to Mashable, a new report by Resolve Media seems to indicate that anyone selling e-readers better do whatever it takes to keep iPads out of the hands of consumers.

The report states that after buying an iPad, 49 percent of people said they would not be buying another e-reader.

There’s also bad news for other devices — 38 percent said they wouldn’t buy a portable gaming device, 32 percent said they wouldn’t buy a netbook or laptop — but it paints a very stark picture for the e-reader industry.

“E-readers should be worried,” Mashable writes. “Even before the Kindle and Nook price cuts, we were already seeing some movement with lower-priced e-readers. We think that reading-only devices will ultimately find a new market at the sub $100 price point. Even at $200, the value proposition for an e-reader versus an iPad is tough to overcome.”

So, while Amazon is shipping its newest iteration of the Kindle and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos keeps talking about how the iPad and Kindle aren’t really competitors, it seems the more people discover the iPad, the more hurt is in store for the Kindle and similar devices.

Fortunately for Amazon, the Kindle isn’t just a device, it’s a software platform, an app that works on the iPad and, I have to say, on the iPad, it’s wonderful, well-built software that makes reading on the iPad a really nice experience.

And the same’s true for Barnes and Noble. They have the Nook but they also have software that works on the iPad.

I’m the thinking that for e-reader companies, the writing’s on the wall, er, tablet.

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  1. […] iPads vs. E-Readers: Things Looking Good for AppleTrue/SlantIt's not a new theme — in fact, earlier this month, I touched upon it — but the evidence seems to be building that e-readers face a tough …The E-Reader RevolutionChicagoNow (blog) […]

  2. I think you meant “Things looking good for the I-Pad.”
    If that is the case, carry on. If not:

    Apple’s G4 Iphone received a negative recommendation from Consumer Reports. There is also a class action suit against Apple for advertising a 2-year commitment to AT&T, even though Apple signed a 5-year exclusivity agreement with AT&T (i.e., at the end of 2 years you have no option other than to renew with AT&T).
    The company’s shares have fallen as a result.

    I realize given Apple’s dedicated fanbase, Apple’s long-term viability will probably be fine, but choosing to make that assumption is not the same thing as “looking good.” The old fans may be as rabid as ever (or maybe not) but their handling of the 4G has certainly not captured them any new market share.

  3. It’s not that e-readers are dead, it’s that the dichotomy between e-readers and tablets/pads was a false one to begin with.

    They’re all portable computing devices with a slate form factor. Some of them (Kindle/Nook) happen to be optimized for reading books. Others (iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab) are optimized for web browsing and apps. Even Microsoft’s UMPCs were optimized for… well… OK, bad example there.

    As companies like Pixel Qi start shipping hybrid displays that can flip between backlit and reflective modes, the differences between the form factors will shrink. (Check out Jesse Vincent putting a Pixel Qi display into a stock Samsung netbook.)

    I don’t doubt for a second that Amazon has displays in development that can support a full-fledged web experience. It’s close to trivial for Amazon to add an app platform to the Kindle, since it’s running Linux anyway. Or Amazon can just go full Android and build an Android tablet that provides the best Kindle experience.

    Bottom line: Amazon didn’t go adding video and audio support to Kindle books just for the iPad. The next generation of “e-books” will be hard to distinguish from general-use tablets.

  4. i got a macbook and im reading this why would i need anything else ?

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