Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) recently released a commercial that pokes fun at the iPad. The commercial features a nerdy looking iPad user struggling to read under direct sunlight, and a bikini clad Kindle user who has no trouble reading at all. The Kindle doesn’t have backlighting, and is designed for easy reading under direct sunlight. The Kindle 3’s sharper e-ink display makes the reading experience even better.
The iPad is a computer. Its high resolution display renders it difficult to read under bright conditions, just like any other laptop. When it is dark, the opposite is true. When I tried the iPad, I immediately noticed how bright the screen was, and can definitely see how it can lead to an uncomfortable reading experience.
The Kindle user in the commercial remarked that the Kindle was only $139, which was less than her sunglasses. Amazing how something like sunglasses cost more than the Kindle, which seems a lot more useful.
Amazon is definitely getting more aggressive with its advertising, but the Kindle is doing amazingly well. The Kindle 3 was sold out when released. Amazon has a great selection of e-books in the Kindle Store that includes most best sellers and new releases. There are also Kindle applications available for the iPad and iPod Touch, which draws in e-book sales for the Kindle Store.
Comparing the iPad and Kindle is a bit like comparing apples to oranges. The Kindle is only for reading. It should be designed to be functional in bright, sunny conditions. The iPad is a tablet computer. It is a multipurpose device, and the e-book reader part of the device is simply one of the many functions that the iPad has. The iPad is great for internet browsing, watching videos, sharing photos and playing games. None of these actions are what the Kindle is designed for. The price difference: $499 for the iPad, and $139 for the Kindle Wi-Fi definitely reflects on the nature and function of each device.
The Kindle 3 has a 3G version that is free, whereas on the iPad, 3G connection comes with a monthly cost starting at $15.