About that ridiculous Kindle vs iPad survey

Since the Kindle doesn’t seem to have any dangerous competitors any more the Apple-loving Press decided to create one. Never mind that it isn’t an eReader.

The Press took a Kindle vs iPad survey that’s amusingly incoherent and more than a little shady and elevated it to fact.

iPad has 95% of the Tablet Market and 32% of the eReader market?

Yes, much like Schroedinger’s Cat the iPad manages to co-exist in two completely different markets.

A single article covering the survey manages to mention both without even realizing how stupid it sounds – It begins with ‘iPad is killing Kindle in the eReader market’ and ends with ‘iPad also has 95% of the tablet market’.

The interesting thing is that this argument has been used in the past – Then it was the iPhone’s turn to play Schroedinger’s Cat and double up as an eReader.

Guess what happened with the tens of millions of iPhones that were ‘eReaders’ and set to destroy the Kindle?

Nothing. The Kindle kept selling like hotcakes.

Surveys the main-stream Press doesn’t want you to know about

There are actually three surveys that no one in the main stream press is picking up.

  1. The first survey talks about how the number of eReaders has tripled in 1 year. That’s despite the iPad supposedly destroying eReaders. Media Post covers the survey from GfK MRI which talks about the number of dedicated eReaders tripling -

    The number of U.S. adults who own an e-reader — meaning devices like the Amazon Kindle and Sony Reader, not Apple’s iPad — has tripled over the last year, according to GfK MRI. Where 2.1 million adults owned an e-reader device in March-October 2009, that number has soared to 5.9 million in the same period of 2010.

  2. The second survey talks about 14% of book buyers owning a dedicated eReader and that number growing to 22% by mid-2011. It also claims 800,000 Kindles have been sold between June and mid-November of 2010 (the link goes my post detailing the survey and there’s a link to the actual survey in the post).
  3. The third survey is a survey of 1,800 consumers which shows that 12% expect to buy a Kindle or another dedicated eReader. Citi analyst Mark Mahaney had this to say -

    “further establishes dedicated e-Reader devices as a robust, growing category, with the outlook for Kindle device and eBook sales likely greater than the market anticipates,” Mahaney said.

    That makes Mahaney think his estimate of 8 million Kindles to be sold in 2011 could be too low.

Those are three surveys that are more credible than ChangeWave and yet they don’t get coverage. They are all pretty recent too – 24th through 29th November, 2010.

200 Vs 15 – Only iPad-positive news is allowed to spread

The Press’ bias is painfully obvious -

  1. You’d think an analyst estimate of 8 million plus Kindles sold in 2011 would get coverage – It didn’t. A paltry 9 articles mentioned it.
  2. Guess how many articles were written about the ‘tripling in number of eReaders’ survey? Just five.
  3. What about the ‘800,000 Kindles sold’ survey? One. Yes, that’s right – One single solitary article. Not a single main stream paper or blog thought it’s worth mentioning that 800,000 Kindles might have been sold since around the time of the Kindle 3 launch. 
  4. Basically, any survey that even remotely hinted the Kindle was a big hit and about to get bigger was buried.
  5. Contrast it with how the ‘iPad is killing Kindle’ non-survey was treated. There are 200+ articles about it – in one day.

When the Press hears what it wants to hear there are 200 articles in one day. When it doesn’t like some part of reality – It pretends it doesn’t exist.

iPad is NOT an eReader – it just wants a market it can pretend to be winning

There are a ton of people who have bought an iPad to watch Netflix or to show it off or to pledge their allegiance to Steve Jobs. Assuming the iPad is an eReader means assuming all those people are serious book readers.

We sold 15 million phones last week – Why aren’t they the #1 eReader? For that matter – Why aren’t desktop computers or laptops?

If the iPad wants to jump around markets why doesn’t it Schroedinger’s Cat its way into the TV market or the PC market?

Consider the markets iPad never even goes near – Smartphones, Computers, Laptops, TVs, Video Game Consoles.

iPad users watch movies and TV, surf the web, and play games a lot more than they read books – Why doesn’t the iPad call itself a portable TV or a game console or a mini-computer?

Because then it’d be nothing. It’s much easier and more impressive to claim you have 95% of the Tablet market than 3% of the TV market.

ChangeWave’s Survey is atrociously bad and rather suspicious

In their rush to glorify the JesusPad the Press didn’t even bother to read the full survey.

The Most Incoherent Survey Ever?

Here’s what ChangeWave claims future eReader buyers (next 90 days) will buy -

  1. 42% will buy iPad. 
  2. 33% will buy Kindle.
  3. 4% will buy Nook. Really?  
  4. 1% will buy Sony. What?
  5. 2% will buy a smart phone with eBook capability. Ha ha ha ha ha!

Are we really expected to believe that only 7% of people who want a device to read books on will get a Nook, Sony, or smart phone?

Notice how the anti-eReader press takes turns -

  • Either smartphones are going to account for 80% of sales and kill Kindle and Nook.
  • Or they will settle for 2% of the market and iPad is going to take 42% and kill Kindle and Nook.

Only 2% of people who want a reading device are going to get smartphones? Weren’t smart phones the last ‘magical and revolutionary’ class of devices that were supposed to kill Kindles and Nooks? Aren’t they selling tens of millions of units a month?

Don’t know what ChangeWave is getting in return for this survey that leaves its credibility in tatters – Hope it’s worth it.

Why does Change Wave keep producing ‘iPad is the best eReader’ surveys?

Change Wave comes across as a shill – In March it came up with a convenient survey that claimed iPad was going to kill eReaders. That was right before launch. Now it’s come up with a survey that claims iPad is killing ereaders. This is right before Christmas.

ChangeWave is probably lining up its next 3 surveys – the first to run before iPad 2 launches, the second to run before Christmas Season 2011, and the third to run right after the Kindle Color or Kindle Tablet launches.

Epilogue – Nook Color is going to be the second device to thrash iPad, the pretend eReader

If B&N can stay solvent through all of 2011 then we’re going to see two big surprises -

  1. Despite all the claims of ‘iPad as eReader’ and ‘animated page turn magic on iBooks’ Apple is going to be beaten thoroughly by Kindle and even by Kindle for iPad – and in that exact order. Note: We’re talking about whichever your prefer out of – readers buying a device for reading, number of books read.
  2. The humble Nook Color is going to whip the iPad as the casual reader’s reading Tablet. The measure of it will be ebook sales and total Nook sales to readers. The claim is that 42% of readers will buy iPad and only 4% will buy Nooks – Let’s see how that holds up.

The Nook Color has already been rooted to be an Android Tablet (the process isn’t perfect or easy yet – Nook Devs have the scoop) and you can bet that it’s going to steal a lot of sales. Perhaps, instead of pretending to be an eReader, the iPad should watch out for Android Tablets which are going to destroy its 95% market share in Tablets.

Courtesy Sergii – #1 of 1 is always 1.

Once we have more actual, viable Tablets available we’ll see how long the iPad’s 95% market share and pretend-magnificence lasts.

13 Responses

  1. Wow, so much hate. I own an IPad and a new Kindle and I have to say I do end up using the iPad more for reading books as I want to have it handy for other uses as well. As for your rant about a survey, live and let live. Is this news somehow making your life less worth living? There is so much hate in the world……let it go.

    • Hate?

      You’re seeing something that isn’t there.

    • Hate? how about truth in reporting.How is Pointing out that the media world we know live in is more about creating news than reporting it hate,? other than the fact that we should hate a main stream media that we can no longer trust to show integrity or have any honor.

  2. I always use camera v. smart phone to highlight this stupidity. All current smart phones come with a camera, so people can take photos with them. Yet, smart phones are not made for the optimum experience (and outcome) of taking picture. Independent cameras are.

    Arguing iPad will render e-readers dead is akin to arguing that iPhone will kill Canon EOS Rebel in the photo-taking market.

  3. The iPad sold one million units in less than month…looks better, is built better, IS an e-reader…I think youre fighting a losing battle here..the kindle will never beat iPad in sales, and the sentence about kindle for iPad helping bandn take over the iPad.. Have you seen the percentage apple charges it’s developers for in app purchases? That’s an insane statement! If kindle was so much more superior it wouldn’t need an app inside it’s biggest competitors app store!

    • Talking about which device readers will buy more.
      Not video-watching people or population in general.

      Justin, Kindle for iPad doesn’t have in-app purchases.

      Apple and Amazon are hardly competitors – just wait a few years when they team up to take on the other big threats.

  4. Not wanting to push further the iPad eReader conflict that was well done by switch11 but was mostly an angry response to some survey…But I love books and have read many over my life and seem to read more with my smartphone and now iPad! How about trying one Switch11? Tell me if your theories of huge sales will come to pass…

    • Thanks for the comment.

      Have both an iPhone and an iPad and have read quite a few books on both. Nook color is a better size and Kindle 3 with lighted cover is much better on the eyes. Of course, for LCD compatible people who don’t mind a back light at night the iPhone is great. iPad is just too unwieldy.

  5. It’s not a matter of bias, especially in the way most people mean bias, i.e., a deliberate distortion of one side of the issue and/or favoring another.

    There are two issues… peoples’ opinions, and the number of stories:

    1. Opinion — There’s an issue of ignorance here from people who haven’t tried to read on both devices, and from those who don’t even know there’s an issue about reading on a glowing device vs. a non-glowing one.

    2. Number of stories — There are ten gazilliion blogs and websites devoted to all things Apple, and the general public is far more fascinated with all of Apple’s miraculous devices than it is almost anything else having to do with any other company. You’ll naturally see many more stories on anything that company does.

    So, ignorance… and feeding demand. And sure, you’ll have your fair share of fanboy blogs who can’t fathom Apple being second in anything, but I don’t consider them “the press,” as you put it.

  6. If I wanted something with a backlight – like an IPAD – I would buy it. Since I don’t want that I am sticking with the kindle. If you want a computer, buy a computer, if you want an e-reader, buy a Kindle – it’s that easy. I am a AVID book reader – I can read somewhere between 1 and 3 books a day – all that with a backlight? HELL NO. The neat thing with the Kindle is that I can read multiple books at once and always have it handy.

    I love reading books more then my work – so I really don’t want to be email accessible all the time. And there isn’t ANYTHING that I HAVE to do on a laptop/pad/computer while waiting for my car’s oil to get changed. I prefer to just sit and read.

    I have the 3rd generation kindle with free 3G – and I only use it to buy books. The reason why I did that is becuase I live in a very rural area and wifi isn’t always handy. If someone needs me – they can always call me on the cell phone rather than email. People ahve become wayy too addicted to the internet and email – take a break — read a good book..on a kindle :-)

  7. Good post, switch11. When I read about that survey I thought that it didn’t make sense. Of course, people will buy an iPad. Why not? It’s a sleek piece of technology. But it can be called a “reader” only by occasional readers. After staring at the computer screen the whole day, I want my eyes to rest on my Kindle screen.

    P.S. In the spirit of full disclosure, I own iPad, Kindle DX, Kindle 3 (lost it yesterday), and PRS-600.

  8. The funny thing is – I find that my iPhone and my Kindle make a perfect team. Most of my reading is done via the Kindle but, when I need real portability or need to read discreetly, the Kindle app on the iPhone works like a charm. Love the way the 2 sync up.

    Also use the WriteRoom iPhone app for writing which has an online notepad which can be easily used on the Kindle.

    Many of the apps I use on the iPhone (goodreads, dropbox, writeroom, amazon, evernote) have websites which I also use on the Kindle.

    It’s a winning combo as far as I’m concerned. Apple and Amazon should work together instead of all this trying to diss each other’s products. It doesn’t have to be an either/or situation.

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