Do iPad and Kindle Both Appeal to Niche Markets?


The Apple iPad launch has made me realize something that should have been apparent a long time ago: I’m not a gadget guy. My current cell phone was built in ancient Roman times. In the not too distant past I not only didn’t have a cell phone, but had no phone at all and no television–though I did have a laptop and a radio. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I’m not thrilled with the iPad, even though I feel I should be. After all, it’s the Apple answer to ereaders.

There’s a whole lot of internet chatter about what’s wrong with the iPad, but very little on the worst feature for an ereader: the glossy, backlit screen. (One of the most appealing things about the Kindle is its ease on eyestrain.) There’s no discussion at all about all the noise. When I curl up with a book I don’t want to have an apps store nearby. I don’t want to play little games. I don’t want to send e-mails or text messages or instant messages. I don’t want to watch videos. I don’t want to blog or tweet or facebook. Here’s what I want to do: read.

I never feel like I’ve wasted my time when I spend the whole day reading–even the trashiest of novels. With video games, TV, phone calls, Facebook, texting, all of it can feel like a huge thundercrushing waste o’ time.

Which makes me think the iPad isn’t a Kindle Killer as other posts suggest, but that the devices cater to two distinct niche markets. The iPad is for the individual who needs something to fill that gap between phone and netbook, that is for those unlike me who already have both. And the Kindle is for the hardcore reader who wants as comfortable of a reading experience as possible. Though the better market is likely the latter. The dedicated reader buys a whole lot more books, and that’s where the real money is in these devices… content, not hardware.

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One response to “Do iPad and Kindle Both Appeal to Niche Markets?

  1. Pingback: Is the iPad a Kindle Killer, or Mouse Killer? | Scribbles