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Amazon hits at iPad's readability again in new TV ad

updated 01:40 pm EST, Mon February 21, 2011

Amazon Kindle second TV ad jabs iPad againm

Amazon took its second opportunity to skewer the iPad's readability in as many ads with a new TV commercial for the Kindle (below). The 30-second ad was mostly positive but points to the Apple tablet's glossy LCD as a weakness. The e-paper on the Kindle reader has "no glare" to interfere with the reading and can be read in bright sunlight, the ad said without a voiceover.

The ad also casts the Kindle as the savior of books, noting that "the book lives on:" the Kindle Store has over 800,000 titles. Battery life is a quick focus, as the very low-power draw of the Kindle lets it last on a charge for a month.

Amazon's ad comes at a prime moment for the Kindle, as Apple is narrowing in-app purchase rules in a way that will likely force the Kindle app out of the store. On a technical level, the next iPad may eliminate a large part of Amazon's argument by using an anti-reflective LCD.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Roehlstation

    Joined: Dec 1969


    That's fine Kindle

    Now, I'd like to watch a movie...... doh!

  1. rvhernandez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Kindle + Dark =?

    Yeah, can't read the Kindle in bed with the lights off. You win some, you loose some. I'd rather have a multiple use iPad than a dedicated book reader.

    I will give them credit for making an iOS app and making a $139 device, but really, lay off slamming the iPad unless you're willing to compete with it. (Remember, Amazon has stated they don't feel the two devices are in the same class, so why compare them in their advertising?)

  1. SierraDragon

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Glossy is awful

    I am typing this on an iPad (purchased for my 86-year-old mother) which is a good device - - but the glossy display is indeed very poor. Hopefully the iPad 2 will have matte available. No way I will own a glossy laptop; it amazes me that some folks actually choose glossy.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. Inkling

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Girls & Geeks

    Amazon commercials are always better. They feature attractive women enjoying themselves rather than geeky guys debating operating systems. Flashes of Seattle scenery aren't bad either, since I live there.

    Let's hope Apple, unaccustomed to not winning a new gadget competition, doesn't get angry and yank the Kindle app from the iPhone and iPad.

  1. JeffHarris

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Kindle's ONLY Advantage

    The ability to read in bright sunlight is Kindle's only real advantage.

    If Apple wanted to counter those ads... why would they bother...
    The iPad user could just yeah, yeah, whatever and...
    read his email
    or make a dinner reservation
    or stream a Netflix movie
    or REALLY piss him/her off and play Angry Birds.

    As for the glossy iPad screen. Get a Power Support anti-glare film!

  1. jnicholas

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Kindle's other advantages

    For reading the kindle has additional advantages than the ability to read in sunlight. It is also much lighter and the buttons are better than touching/swiping the screen for pages changes.

    I don't think Apple needs to counter the Amazon ads at all. I don't even really see them as "attacks" on the iPad. Many people who haven't seen a kindle in person are going to assume the screen is much like a laptop or ipad screen. I see these ads more as saying "if you find your ipad hard to read outside, the kindle works better" I'm sure there is a large overlap audience.

  1. Norrin Radd

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Are you nuts?

    Who wants to sit in the hot sun and read for an extended period of time?!?! Seriously. If you're at the pool or beach - go swimming. Or surf. Or tan yourself - whatever. But what kind of a fool sits poolside in direct sunlight to read a book?!?!? Now, under an umbrella - fine. But in direct light? Yeah. That's what I want. 6 hours of direct UV exposure while I polish off the latest Dan Brown. Gimme a break.

    You know when I do read with my iPad? At night. In bed. When my wife is sleeping. With all the lights off. Try that, Kindle.

  1. dwoodruff

    Joined: Dec 1969



    That is their entire marketing platform? It doesn't glare??? I hate to say this, but I have used the iPad in bright sunlight constantly, and I have this amazing thing I have invented, it's called slightly altering the viewing angle, it's amazing.

    And to think, I almost gave up everything else the iPad does just to solve this glaring dilemma.

  1. facebook_Clarence

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Feb 2011


    iPad girl

    the girl with the iPad is hot. I think amazon is telling me to get the iPad.

  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969


    angle of incidence

    I am not excusing Apple's glare, but it's all about angle of incidence. These devices are 'personal' devices and you'd look at only yourself when you are using it. I don't prefer the iPad's glossy, but in situations where there is too much glare for the iPad, it's not too readable for the Kindle, either.

    What's the solution? Tan your face like George Hamilton (oh no, that reference is way too old) and powder your face like Tammy Faye Bakker (oops, even older and obscure reference) to avoid reflection/glare.

    I suppose that is trying to say that the iPad is designed for coal miners—just when they get out of the mine. I wish would not spend so much time stating the obvious; it's a waste of time and $$$.

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