iPad 2 and implications for Kindle

First, let’s take a look at the iPad 2 announcement call.

Interesting Things from the iPad 2 announcement

  1. Steve Jobs presented it.
  2. iBooks has hit over 100 million books downloaded. Random House coming to iBooks.
  3. 200 million Credit Card accounts across iTunes, App Store, and iBooks.
  4. 100 million iPhones sold.
  5. 15 million iPads sold. $9.5 billion in 2010. Greater than 90% market share. Samsung not doing well.
  6. iPod, iPhone, and iPad as the three pillars of Apple post-PC. Are Apple conceding they lost the PC wars? Why focus on post-PC?
  7. 65,000 apps for the iPad. 100 apps for Honeycomb Tablets.
  8. $2 billion paid out to developers selling apps in the App Store.

All very impressive. Just show iPad 2 already.

The iPad 2

  1. All new design. Completely new.
  2. New, faster chip. The A5. Same power usage as A4.
  3. Dual core processor. 9 times faster graphic performance. Apple does know how to explain things simply – surprising that very few other tech companies use language like this.
  4. Front and rear facing cameras.
  5. Built-in gyroscope.
  6. A third thinner than iPad 1. iPad 2 is 8.8 mm thin.
  7. Lighter at 1.3 pounds.
  8. Same 10 hour battery life.
  9. Available in black and white and for Verizon and AT&T.
  10. The same exact prices – starting at $499. That’s really, really disappointing. You have got to be joking – After selling 15 million iPads you still couldn’t cut prices. This pretty much means little to no threat to Kindle or Nook Color. The lighter weight makes things a bit difficult but the price is a huge barrier.
  11. Ships on March 11th. Wow, that’s quick. On March 25th it ships in 26 more countries, including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, and UK.

It’s not really all that much of an improvement. It’s better than the iPad, and it will definitely be hard for rival companies to catch up with the iPad 2. However, the price is the same. The dual-core processor and the dual cameras are the only things that scream out at you as big additions.

iPad 2 Software and more 

  1. Accessories – HDMI video out with up to 1080p for $39.
  2. Smart covers that bend and fold around iPad 2 and use magnets and can be used as a stand. They cover just the front. The cover is $39 for polyurethane and $69 for leather. For covers that only cover the front. Strange.
  3. iOS 4.3 comes with faster Safari performance. Some things I have no idea about – iTunes home sharing, AirPlay improvements, mute switch can now be used for orientation.
  4. PhotoBooth for iPad 2. It’s like one of those apps that lets you make funny faces. Don’t really know what to say.
  5. FaceTime. I guess we’ll be seeing millions of ads for this soon enough.
  6. iMovie. Share your videos in HD and it has multitrack audio recording. The rear facing camera has HD video recording at 30 fps.

Implications for Kindle

At $499 for the cheapest iPad 2, there aren’t very many implications.

Size is now lighter at 1.3 pounds, but the Kindle is still much lighter at 8.7 ounces. iPad 2 is thinner at 8.8 mm but it’s the largeness of it that was the issue, not the thickness. iBooks getting Random House is a bit of a threat but Random House is moving to the Agency Model and committing mini-suicide - So, again it’s not as big an issue as it might have been.

Note: The 30% tax is a big deal – However, that affects Kindle for iPhone, and not Kindle.

There really aren’t any big threats for the Kindle here. Rival Tablet makers and the Kindle Tablet now have a higher bar to meet. For the Kindle there’s no tangible threat here.

Implications for Nook Color

Again, the $499 price makes iPad 2 not much of a threat to Nook Color. At $249 (till tomorrow morning $200 at B&N’s eBay shop with a coupon code) the Nook Color is still much better value for money.

It’s a bit of a disappointment. If Apple had priced iPad 2 at $399 it would have forced Amazon and B&N to cut the prices of Kindle and Nook Color. Now we’ll have to wait for some other catalyst.

Apart from the dual core processor and the dual cameras, don’t really see anything worth calling a conference for. Here’s the screen (from the iPad 2 specs page) -

  • 9.7-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit glossy widescreen Multi-Touch display with IPS technology
  • 1024-by-768-pixel resolution at 132 pixels per inch (ppi)
  • Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating

An improvement on the iPad, and not much of a threat to Kindle and Nook Color.

14 Responses

  1. This is a nice, if incremental improvement on the original. As for price, Apple is well known NOT to cut price on successive generations of product, but rather to increase available feature for greater value.

    I like the fact that it is now FLAT across the back of the iPad, so it won’t rock when sitting on a table. Better weight si a good thing; slightly smaller overall size as well.

    I don’t have an iPad, not sure if I’ll get this or an iPod Touch 4. The iPod Touch give me about 70-80% of the functionality of the iPad in a smaller size.

    As for the covers, adapters, et al, Apple makes a TON on accessories. Just like the moniker “there’s an app for that”, “there’s an accessory for that”. Oh, and they’re all about $30. Ever notice that?

    • Comparing my iPad to my iPhone 4, the “all the functionality with a smaller screen” comparison is a bit fallacious. The big screen is in fact the only function of the iPad that matters. If you want something that lives in your pocket and allows you acces to the net and games wherever, then get an iPod Touch or an iPod Touch 3G (aka iPhone). If you want a tablet, get an iPad. Want to read books, get a Kindle 3.

  2. Actually, the original ipad is on clearance on the apple store for $100 off.

    Regarding reading, in theory, the ipad2 will allow you to read books on your tv using the kindle app and the hdmi video out cable. Not sure if that is usable or not.

    • The $100 discount is for the original.

      I think based on what I’ve been reading that many people thought that due to economies of scale, Apple might be able to reduce the price of the NEW iPad 2 to $399. While price reductions DO happen once in a while on Apple products, the point made remains: Apple is much more likely to introduce more features at the current (old) price.

      Apple is selling iPads like hotcakes for the original price matrix. They probably see little incentive to eat into what has become for them a cash cow.

      • If and when Apple starts to feel heat from other tablets, you can be sure that they’ll cut price to maintain their dominant market position (they did it early in the iPod’s life when its dominance was still in doubt).

        Until then, don’t expect to see iPad price drops especially when nobody seems to have announced anything even close to the base iPad price and most of the announced tablets are little more than vaporware right now.

    • That’s an interesting idea – to read books on the TV. They’d have to stop calling it the idiot box.

  3. Nice wrap up but I don’t entirely agree with your premise which seems to me to be that iPad and Kindle/nook are directly competing and that you should choose one or the other.

    Obviously, iPad has significantly more functionality than a dedicated e-reader. I assume you would not dispute that. So if e-reading is just one of the things you want a device to do, then there really is no equal to iPad, especially with the new iPad 2 and the addition of RH books to the iBookstore. (I’ll leave the whole Apple subscriptions flap untouched).

    However, if you are a serious e-reader then iPad may or may not meet your needs. Price certainly counts here – if all you need is a e-reading device (i.e. no need to check email, watch videos, play games, do some light content creation, etc) then iPad probably not the way to go and a kindle/nook are probably your best bet.

    But, if you do need additional functionality then I would argue iPad plus a kindle is the way to go – especially given kindle’s price of $130. However, I would say this is not true WRT Nook. $250 is pricey especially when compared to a 16GB iPad.

    • Actually, we agree completely. This is just wondering if a lower price would make it a threat because of the Press’ constant refrain that we should buy a device that does more than just read.

      • Yes, well, there IS the Press.

        I guess after today the Kindle will be even MORE dead than dead?

  4. Okay, I saw the iPad 2. It weighs 1.3. I have iPad 1 and I do not like the weight. Getting Kindle 3 would be good but I suspect K4 is coming this summer. What are my options? I need an e-reader. iPad 1 is of no use. iPad 2 is still heavy. K3 wifi is a good option but should I wait for K4? Thanks.

    • Wait till summer. Not sure if Kindle 4 will be out by then.

      The other option is to just buy a Kindle and if a Kindle 4 comes out sell your Kindle. You’ll still get $125 to $150 for it.

    • K3 came out in august last time. That’s still half a year away. If you think you want a Kindle, get one now. They’re not all that expensive, especially for people who can afford iPads, after all. I don’t regret any of my iPhone 4 16G/Kindle 3 3G/iPad 32G WiFi lineup, and ven so since purchasing the Kindle the battery on both iDevices averages significantly longer (in other words, I use them less).

  5. Note that iPad 1 is now $399 and $349 refurbished

  6. I have both the iPad and Kindle. The main reason the iPad is not a Kindle killer is the difficulty to read on the iPad in direct sunlight. Even a shady spot does little to make reading easier. Trying to read on the beach, forget it, not gonna happen. Until that happens, I will continue to carry a huge purse so I can carry both my iPad and Kindle everywhere I go!!

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