Amazon's new Kindle competes with iPad on price, focus

Amazon new Kindle

Amazon's new Kindle comes in a smaller, darker package and they're positioning it to compete with Apple's iPad (which can also read Kindle books) on price ($139 for Wi-Fi $189 for 3G) and a laser-like focus on reading.

  • All-New, High-Contrast E-Ink Screen – 50% better contrast than any other e-reader
  • Read in Bright Sunlight – No glare
  • New and Improved Fonts – New crisper, darker fonts
  • New Sleek Design – 21% smaller body while keeping the same 6" size reading area
  • 17% Lighter – Only 8.5 ounces, weighs less than a paperback
  • Battery Life of Up to One Month – A single charge lasts up to one month with wireless off
  • Double the Storage – Up to 3,500 Books
  • Built-In Wi-Fi – Shop and download books in less than 60 seconds
  • 20% Faster Page Turns – Seamless reading
  • Enhanced PDF Reader – With dictionary lookup, notes, and highlights
  • New WebKit-Based Browser – Browse the web over Wi-Fi (experimental)

Thank goodness they didn't rebrand it as KindlePad...


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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Amazon's new Kindle competes with iPad on price, focus


Obviously price drops with competition. If this would have been out a year or two years ago I would have definateky bought one if these and still purchased the iPad now because of how much MORE the iPad can do. However I wouldn't go out and buy one of these now that I have my iPad. I have my kindle and iBooks app and for me honestly I do all of my reading at night and on my iPhone because it's easier to handle. Everyonecis going to have thier own preference I guess. But after dropping $700+ for the iPad there's no way I'm gonna drop more on a kindle. I guess this would be geared already to customers that font already have an iPad.

Will continue to read on my iPhone, this would be just another thing to carry to the beach. With my phone, at the beach as per the picture, I can read Kindle books, surf the web or play a game while listening to music plus receive and send texts and calls.
One gadget to rule them all.

This is a game changer. Especially with the iPad shortages. I bought an iPad for my wife, but at this price I feel it becomes more accessible to book fans.

As much as I love my iphone 4, I need a bigger screen to read comfortably. ipad is out right now, too much money. So, this new Kindle might do the trick. Hmmmm....

I like it! Amazon has done good with this iteration, especially in terms of focus. They have to compete against all the other eBook readers as well as the iPad, and Jeff Bezos is seems aware that there is a coming wave of cheap and probably mixed-quality LCD tablets.
I want one of these as WELL as an iPad ;-)

The ultimate strategy will be when Amazon subsidizes Kindles with ebook sales. Kindle for $50?
I'm not saying this jokingly. It's the ultimate strategy. Amazon is a content business. If the net effect is more ebook sales such that it more than makes up for selling the Kindle at a loss, they should go for it!

i dont see e-readers as iPad competition. iBooks is too small and too expensive not to mention the price difference between the iPad and the kindle or the nook.

I can't see myself shelling out any amount of money on a device that does only ONE thing!! Doesn't convergence mean anything anymore. People are on the go. The least amount of devices to carry, I'm better off. So an iPhone and iPad are the only things that travel with me.

@ thirsty tech
I know I'm dying carry a kindle, blackberry, point and shoot camera, and iPod in a backpack with me at all times!

@ ThirstyTech and Jason:
To be fair, the Kindle reads eBooks, PDFs and has a WebKit based browser--it isn't necessarily a single use device.
I think there is room in the market--and customers--for each approach.

@ Jason, you could eliminate 3 of those (2 if you're a really serious photographer) by getting an iPhone.

I am only interested in reading. The ipad is way to expensive an ebook reader. I have my other devices for surfing the web. At this price point I can see why the kindle is selling out.
One major plus is being able to sit in the backyard and read.
Someone said why have a dedicated device. For one its easy on the eyes, the battery life, and the free 3G which no one seems to talk about. Something you have to pay for on an ipad. I find the ipad is okay at most things but not a master at any one particular area the problem with any all in one.
I think the kindle for a book reader is a hot item!

Why the hell are people always comparing these two devices?
Lack of competition for the iPad?
Because the both have a similar shape?
Because I can read a book on both?
They're not the same freakin' think people.
If all you want is to read books in the bright sunshine, get a Kindle.
If you want a device that can do 1000 things, get an iPad.

@ThirstyTech: "I can’t see myself shelling out any amount of money on a device that does only ONE thing!!"
So you never bought an iPod?

If you plan to read pdf files on a Kindle you better read the "rest of the story" first.
More gotcha's than in the back seat of my 54 Chevy.

I liked that photo that Amazon put up. It's sort of like a subliminal attack against the iPad. Cheap enough to use in the sandy environment without worry about damage, plus it works in sunlight while wearing sunglasses.
The question I have now is, how will this change the textbook market? Sure you can have all your books on the iPad, but when (not if) it gets lost/stolen, you're out $500+ to get a replacement. $139 is a lot more palatable. Plus, less likely they'll screw around playing games or websurfing in class...

For those who think "Free 3G web browsing (experimental)" will be great. Read again. This is only a test. Amazon obviously partnered with carriers for this but the minute carriers feel their losing money it will be gone. Not to mention it's only web browsing and in black and white so keep it in perspective. What are you really going to do on the web beside read on a monotone screen. Kindle is just an ebook reader and nothing more. iPad is a multifunction mobile device.

I'm suprised they haven't made a version that's water-proof down to 10ft like some of the digital point And shoots that have been around for a few years. I would get one if they offered it. I'd love to be able to read at (in) he pool or beach without worrying about someone splashing it or me dropping it.

"... they’re positioning it to compete with Apple’s iPad ..."
What are he serious? Talk about being daft. The Kindle has been around for 3yrs now. And since the beginning it's been an single function device optimized for reading. Its had an eInk screen and free 3G since the beginning.
Each iteration they've enhanced the device making it smaller faster AND CHEAPER; while maintaining focus on reading.
Amazon could care less about the iPad, the iPad is not their competition. You want to know who is Barns and Noble. Look at Amazon's two 6" devices, they're priced about the same range as the nook. Also when the nook drops prices, guess who else fallows suit?

Alright, he is the story. If you read a lot of books, you will want the Kindle. The E Ink screen is very easy on the eyes and the Kindle is designed to function like a book. Is it perfect, no, but to read for long periods of time it is easier on the eyes the a backlit LCD screen. The iPad does a 1000 plus more things than the Kindle. Kindle has an "experimental" browser, it is only gray scale and is slow compared to the iPad. I bought an iPad first, then took the plunge and bought the Kindle 2i because I wanted to purchase less physical books and I read a lot. My wife was unhappy until she spent about an hour reading a Kindle edition of the local paper. She then gave me permission to buy the new Kindle 3 so she could get my fairly new Kindle 2i. The Kindle is lighter and easier to hold for long periods of reading. In reading the Kindle wins, but in everything else it is iPad all the way. As @sb said why compare the two, they are different machines. BTW, Amazon love iPad, look at the Kindle reader program for the iPad, iPhone/iPod Touch, and Macs. Amazon get to deliver content to all.