There have been a lot of user comments posted recently about how the Amazon Kindle e-book reader has managed to stay afloat in a sea of iPads.
Has Amazon done anything special to preserve the Kindle as Amazon’s best ever selling product … and which Amazon says is still their top seller.
The short answer is that they probably didn’t have to do anything … but the one thing they did do when the iPad arrived in 2009 was to reduce Kindle’s price and put a huge differential between the cost of the two machines. That move certainly didn’t hurt sales.
Today a Kindle sells for about $140 and an iPad starts at $500. Apple sells apps and Amazon created the Kindle to sell more books. Amazon has still left the door open to iPad buyers that want to read by offering an Amazon e-book reader app for the iPad. Both companies have created a business model that builds on their strengths to make money.
In reading the comments by Kindle users it has become obvious to me the real reason Kindle survived and is doing well. Its focused eink paper like technology appeals to book readers better than the iPad with the high res touchy fee–ly screen … and the almost $400 price difference helps to sweeten the appeal.
Amazon did their marketing studies and got it right before they created the Kindle. They aren’t competing directly with potential iPad users because the iPad was designed to squeeze in all web surfers that existed between an iPhone and a Mac Air … and although the iPad is an e-book reader amongst a lot of other things, it doesn’t satisfy a book reader in the same way a Kindle can.
A lot of iPad users admit to also owning a Kindle. What’s that tell you about the book reading market?
Amazon is a book store that happens to sell a lot of other stuff … including iPads. They figured out that a lot of people still like to read and that if they made it easier to buy and read books online that they could sell a lot more books … in the form of e-books, that would be a lot less costly to an avid reader. Instant gratification, and no shipping costs either.
They then created the eink technology that makes the Kindle read very much like a piece of paper. People that like to read can now carry a complete library in their pocket and add to their collection for less than 10 bucks a whack no matter where they are.
In this techie over complicated world where there seems to be a video for everything, it’s nice to know that a lot of people still like to read and absorb information the old fashioned way … otherwise we’d probably be heading back to the modern day equivalent of the dark ages.