With the release of Apple's new iPad device, many people are wondering if the Kindle is now obsolete. Compared to the sleek Apple device, the Kindle may look like an antiquated relic from the distant past. Should Amazon be worried? Let's take a look at some of the considerations:
1. Battery Life
Here is where the Kindle may excel. Because the Kindle isn't backlit, it consumes very little battery power and can last about 2 weeks on a single charge as long as the wireless connection is turned off. The only time the Kindle uses the battery is when a new page is loaded. The iPad, on the other hand, must continuously use battery juice just to keep the screen lit.
2. Full Color vs. Black and White
The iPad definitely wins this one. The Kindle's black and white screen is nowhere near as attractive as the full color experience that the iPad offers. The iPad can also offer more interactivity that the Kindle can't match. This might include video interviews with the author or detailed maps.
Without a doubt, iPad users will have a larger selection of books available to them. Why is this? Well, Kindle already has a Kindle App that is available for free for the iPad. This means that any title that is available to a Kindle owner will, by default, be available to an iPad owner. In addition to this, iPad owners will also have access to all the titles that Apple offers through its deals with various major publishing houses.
4. Book Prices
This is another area where iPad owners have the edge. Because iPad owners will have access to both Amazon's and Apple's library of titles, they can always comparison shop and get the best price. Kindle owners will only have the option of purchasing the Kindle version of the book.
5. Can the iPad do for Books what the iPod did for Music?
Before iTunes, the music industry was struggling. They were losing more and more sales every year to pirated copies of their songs online. No one had yet figured out a successful business model for selling digital music. Today, Apple is by far the biggest music retailer in the world. Can they do the same for books? The Amazon Kindle has been successful on a small scale, but it has never really gone mainstream. Amazon says that the Kindle is their #1 selling product, but it is rare to actually see someone on the street using one. This is similar to the state of MP3 players before the iPod was released. The iPod revolutionized the music world. Maybe the iPad is next. Only time will tell.