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Amazon's Bezos: iPad in a 'different category' than Kindle

updated 09:45 am EDT, Tue June 29, 2010

Amazon CEO sees Kindle and iPad separate

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos said in an interview published today that he doesn't consider the iPad to be in the same category as the Kindle. He acknowledged that there would be "a bunch" of tablets on the market but saw the iPad and its kind as a "different product category." The CEO reiterated his view to Fortune that the Kindle was a focused device and would succeed through its single-purpose nature.

"The Kindle is for readers," Bezos said.

He also stressed that Amazon wanted to keep its current 80 percent control of the e-book market simply by making the service ubiquitous, running on whatever's available at the time. Amazon just yesterday launched Kindle for Android and gave Apple's devices an advantage by enabling audio and video Kindle books on the iPad and iPhone where the Kindle itself is entirely incapable of video.

Whether Amazon can hold that market share has been cast into doubt. Among its immediate competitors, it now has to face the $149 Nook Wi-Fi, which offers Internet access for less even following the Kindle's price drop. The sheer volume of iPad sales, and the expansion of iBooks to smaller iOS devices, may have also given Apple 22 percent of the e-book market simply by exposing a large number of users to a reading-friendly device with secondary features.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969


    yes, they are different

    As long as there are people who read more 'black ink on white surface', then there will always be space for Kindle.

    RGB just can't do text as well as active matrix monochrome.

  1. Norrin Radd

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Two Words...

    Franklin Planner.

  1. TomSawyer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Narrow View

    Bezos' opinion that, "... the Kindle was a focused device and would succeed through its single-purpose nature," doesn't coincide with the practices of modern consumers. Kindle will likely fail, not because it doesn't perform its single task properly, but because it can only perform a single task. Most people today don't want to have to carry around multiple devices to perform the tasks they demand of their portable devices (calculation, communication, entertainment). They want a single device that does it all, and can have most of their demands met by devices like the iPad, iPhone, or a laptop (depending on the individuals expectations). People are no longer in the market for personal electronic "uni-taskers."

  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The current Kindle is technically behind the

    curve in some respects. The refresh rates are slow and it doesn't display color. It'll be always "just" a reader. There is nothing wrong with that except will consumers buy it. Bezos can call it anything he wants. Either it has buyer appeal or it doesn't. I don't think that it should be competing heads up with the iPad, but I'm only one person. Consumers will decide what they prefer. Apparently, they're choosing the iPad. I think there's room for both. The Kindle works as advertised and does it well. That still won't necessarily translate into high sales. I hope the Kindle stays around and improves.

  1. shiggie

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Who's he trying to fool?

    Yes, there is a huge segment of the population that don't have multi-purposes devices, and still have mobile phones that just make phone calls. That segment of the population has never heard of the Kindle.

  1. slider

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Well, The Kindle Actually Hasn't Failed

    First, I think we need to separate the "Kindle" and Kindle ebooks. Ultimately, the Kindle is a means by which Amazon can sell ebooks. I have no idea if Amazon was able to capitalize on the early Kindles be being the only game in town (excepting the Sony Reader). If there is not a market for eBooks it's because of Amazon's effort in this area. Its even possible that if there had been no Kindle, there would not have been iBooks for the iPad. The Kindle, helped move digital books into the consumer consciousness, much like the iPod did for digital music.

    It's very possible that Amazon will move this device as a lost leader selling for around $100, way less than an iPad and helps iPad (or whatever slate) owners justify getting a kindle for say just the bedside or whatever. Amazon is making their Kindle books available on multiple device - more ways to enjoy your content, so where Apple, in the early days, required you buy all your digital music through iTunes that you could only play on the iPod, Amazon take a different approach - likely the only really choice they could make given they had not obtained the kind of market lead as Apple had with iTunes.

    We may even see the Kindle disappear - but I doubt we'll see the end of Kindle books.

  1. Geoduck

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Isn't there a Kindle App for iPad?

    I see that as a tacit admission that the Kindle device is doomed. IMO Amazon will run out the string for a year or two more and then quietly drop the device in the face of far higher book sales to iPad users.

  1. B9bot

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Another Steve Balmer, let's just ignore the iPad

    Another Steve Balmer, let's just ignore the iPad and maybe it will go away. Pretend like it doesn't compete with our product.

    Another losing tactic that will cost Amazon a lot in the end.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Why do you all care?

    Everyone seems to be so anti-Kindle. What is it with any product that Apple doesn't make that requires people to explain how come it will fail compared to a product Apple does make? Can't you just say "Hey, it is what it is" and let it be?

    No, that'd be too hard. Gotta find reasons to dismiss any and all possible competition, even if it isn't competition at all.

    Unless you're an Amazon stockholder, why do you care if they're funding a sinking ship, even?

  1. ggirton

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I have used it.

    I have read a book on the iPhone Kindle app.
    But it gave me a headache. I'm in the marked for a
    Kindle. It won't be monochrome forever.

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