Amazon Blows Out! iPad Kindle-Killer?

Friday, January 29, 2010

Amazon blew out earnings estimates last night with a 71% increase in net income beating estimates by 13 cents totaling earnings per share of $0.85. What a quarter! One of the most interesting pieces of the earnings release came from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who highlighted the success of his company's Kindle electronic reader. "Millions of people now own Kindles," he said in a prepared statement. "We sell 6 Kindle books for every 10 physical books."

Now, that's pretty amazing! What a quick adoption of new technology and a seemingly large jump in reader's appetite for books. This device may indeed make our country smarter ;)

The big question is whether Apple's iPad will be a so-called "Kindle-Killer". We bought a Kindle for my father for Christmas and I have to say it's a pretty darn good product. The Kindle benefits from a lower price, seamless integration with your Amazon account and a week of battery life. Here's a quick comparison on the lowest end of each product.

Specification Amazon Kindle Apple iPad
Price $259 $499
Screen Size 6-inch 9.7-inch
Color? No Yes
Touch Screen? No Yes
Battery Life 1 Week 10 hours
Supports e-Books 140,000 iPhone aaps

The difference is clear to me, do you want to read books or do everything else? Frankly, I think the iPad will sell, and sell a lot. But, battery life is a major issue and I think people who already own iPhones may not see the need for the iPad. Plus the no contract seamless nature of the Kindle makes it very attractive to an older, book-reading consumer. Kindle's numbers are impressive. Overall, this product makes me somewhat lukewarm on both products and I don't see any clear winner emerging. Kindle sales will be impacted but I still see huge Kindle sales going forward.
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