Kindle 2.0 isn’t out yet so we’re comparing the original Amazon Kindle against the new Sony Reader. This is a Kindle blog and there’s no way we’d ever agree that the Sony is anywhere near the Kindle Reader, so I’m going to take a different approach. I’m going to write down advantages of each, and add a poll so that you can vote. Also, please do leave comments with your thoughts.
On December 15th, I updated my points with feedback from the polls. A total of 838 votes were cast across both polls.
Sony Vs Kindle – Obvious Sony Reader advantages
- PDF support – a big one. This was the single biggest thing Kindle owners would like to see in Kindle 2.0.
- TouchScreen - no doubt this is an advantage, even with the eink screen refresh lag. This was the second most popular feature in the poll.
- FrontLight – Kindle has none, and a backlight is one of the two most sought after kindle accessories (along with kindle covers). This was the third most popular thing Kindle owners wanted in Kindle 2.0.
- Looks – Owners definitely want Kindle 2.0 to look better, which the leaked pictures seem to hint against.
- ePub support – Lots of people drum this up as a huge advantage. However, opening up the Kindle too much would lead to Amazon not being able to support whispernet i.e. if people start buying their books from other stores. This was actually the 5th most desired feature.
- Send in your own Sony advantages – So far, these have included a secure mount in the cover, availability in Canada (which I strongly second), and no DRM. Keep sending in your thoughts.
Thank you very much for your votes – There were 514 votes up to Dec 15th, 2008.
Kindle Vs Sony – Obvious Kindle Reader advantages
- Wireless Internet – And it’s free. This was listed as the number 1 advantage the kindle had over sony’s reader.
- Buy straight from the Kindle, and get books in a minute. This was a very close 2nd (joint).
- A Wider range of titles – 180,00 to be precise, and growing. This was also joint second.
- An actual keyboard – would you agree? I always prefer an actual keyboard since I have a Motorola Ming with an on-screen touch keyboard and just added a MOTO RAZR with an actual one, and the difference is huge. This was a distant 4th.
- Trust Amazon more than Sony – 5th.
- It’s cheaper by $40.
- There are lots of free books available in Kindle format, and authors keep offering books for free.
- Send in your own Kindle Reader advantages. Here you really felt that lack of Mac Support by Sony, and the free sample chapter from Amazon were big factors, as was the font sizes available in the Kindle.
Again, thank you for your votes – there were 324 votes upto December 15th, 2008.
If you want to buy Kindle 1.0 here’s the link.
I’m going to wait for your suggestions and then update the post (and, if needed, the polls). If we set aside people who are pro-Sony or pro-amazon I think the free internet and instant download of books are two very big advantages the Kindle Reader has over all of its competition. Any rival ereader manufacturer that’s trying to attack amazon without addressing these two huge competitive advantages is fighting a losing battle. Amazon, with the Kindle 2.0 Reader, has the option of addressing some key low lying fruit like support for folders, PDF support (perhaps?), a better design, and a better looking Kindle. Just doing this, without adding many new features would be enough for it to continue to be the first option.
If Amazon does add 1 or more killer features to the 2nd generation Kindle Reader, then it’s going to decimate the competition. That’s what my gut feeling is.