Skip to Content

Will the iPad Kill the Kindle?

The price and specs suggest that Apple’s device will offer stiff competition.
January 27, 2010

It’s not yet clear whether the iPad will live up to the breathless excitement that surrounded its launch. But, from the specs alone, it clearly spells trouble for dedicated e-readers, particularly Amazon’s larger version of the Kindle.

The Kindle DX is the same size as the iPad. It has a black and white E-Ink screen, four gigabytes of internal storage, 3G access and costs $489. Meanwhile, the cheapest version of the iPad has a full-color touch screen, a powerful processor and graphics chip, 16 gigabytes of flash storage, Wi-Fi and sells for $499.

The cheaper iPad might not have 3G or the same battery life as the Kindle DX (up to four days), but on every other count it wins. It has both a gorgeous screen and vastly more functionality. And, while Amazon has established an excellent, easy way to buy books, iTunes, which already has some 125 million customers, will give it a run for its money.

During today’s launch, Apple played down its move into the e-reader market–the iBooks demo was buried in-between game demonstrations and a long explanation of the company’s productivity software. But the iPad price point means that those considering a dedicated e-reader will be sorely tempted by an iPad. In addition, because an iTunes account can be used to purchase e-books, Apple stands to capture a large audience of users readers who want to read a few e-books but would never buy a dedicated device.

The iBooks app also has access to the full catalogs of five major publishers: Penguin, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, and Hachette Book Group. It also uses the standard ePub format, meaning that books purchased on this device will be compatible with other readers.

Keep Reading

Most Popular

This startup wants to copy you into an embryo for organ harvesting

With plans to create realistic synthetic embryos, grown in jars, Renewal Bio is on a journey to the horizon of science and ethics.

VR is as good as psychedelics at helping people reach transcendence

On key metrics, a VR experience elicited a response indistinguishable from subjects who took medium doses of LSD or magic mushrooms.

This nanoparticle could be the key to a universal covid vaccine

Ending the covid pandemic might well require a vaccine that protects against any new strains. Researchers may have found a strategy that will work.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.