Saturday, 17 April 2010

Technology risk: Ipad kills Kindle

Consumers dumping Kindles for iPads !!!

Charlie Wolf, a senior analyst at Needham & Co. who has a "buy" rating on Apple shares, on Apr. 9 cut his forecast for Kindle sales this year, ... "It's not a compelling product," he says of the Kindle, because Apple's iPad offers more features, such as the ability to play video, plus a more compelling design.

How Kindle can counter-attack?

Kindle: lighter and no network charge
Steve Haber, president of Sony's digital reading business, said in an e-mailed statement that "the introduction of a tablet device, which includes digital reading as part of its functionality, is a good thing for the digital book business."

Amazon spokesman Andrew Herdener wouldn't comment on future product plans. He says the Kindle's light weight (two-thirds of a pound for the smaller model, vs. 1.5 lbs. for the iPad) and ability to download books without incurring cellular network charges constitute advantages over the iPad.

Three initial iPad models can connect to the Internet via WiFi to download books and magazines, run applications, and browse the Web. Three additional models due later in April will connect to AT&T's cellular network for additional charges of $15 or $30 per month.

Offering third-party applications for the Kindle could help keep buyers interested. In January, Amazon let developers start creating Kindle apps, which Amazon says will be available later this year. Developer Sonic Boom is building word games and puzzles. Handmark is creating a Zagat-branded restaurant-ratings guide, according to Amazon.

Amazon has also been distributing software for Research In Motion's (RIMM) BlackBerry smartphones, Apple's iPhone, and—yes—the iPad, that let users of those devices read the more than 480,000 digital titles Amazon is selling. "Being able to offer Kindle on other devices buys Amazon some time and keeps [Kindle] relevant," IDC's Kevorkian says.

To compete with Apple's iPad, Amazon will need to keep finding innovative ways to draw readers to its digital books—and must roll some of them out soon.

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