Is the iPad a Kindle Killer, or Mouse Killer?


Apple announced sales of 300,000 iPads as of midnight Saturday, the first day it was on sale. More than 1 million apps and over 250,000 ebooks have also been downloaded, in spite of reported wifi woes. TechCruch’s list of the best apps for the iPad includes the iBooks app first, and the Kindle for iPad app second.

No word yet on whether anyone has started reading any of the books they downloaded, or if they’re too busy playing all the cool games. My hunch is most folks are still tinkering with the Captain’s Log, which turns your iPad into a Star Trek (à la Next Generation vintage) social networking device, and not getting much reading done.

All this only underscores the veracity of my bold prediction that the iPad would only appeal to a niche market. Ahem, I confess bewilderment at all the hoopla, though reviews in both the New York Times and Wall Street Journal did get me thinking that I’ve missed the point. The iPad is for those who consume content, not those who produce it. It’s a super-fancy, interactive, mini TV that hopes it’ll not just be a Kindle killer, but ultimately a mouse and keyboard killer.

It’s just not a device for techies, which I must reluctantly admit to being. (I do use three different laptops and two different desktops between work and home… and my e-mail account to pants ratio is a tad lacking, a sure indicator per David Pogue in the New York Times.) The iPad isn’t meant for me. The lack of a USB port and Flash support, along with the hefty price tag, are all deal breakers. Though the Apple Store still seems to be shipping the devices in just 5 to 7 business days, if I change my mind.

Overall, the best bits in all the iPad frenzy are videos. One where Stephen Colbert points out that Apple got the cover of Newsweek for free, while Amazon had to pay for the back cover. And then there’s this one, which answers the question that had to be asked:

Yes, definitely feeling a bit techie. There’s no need to buy an iPad for mindless entertainment, hours of it can be found on the Will it Blend? site, featuring the guys originally of YouTube fame. Hmmm… maybe I should get me one of them blenders.

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