Will the iPad Kill the Kindle?

By J. Gerry Purdy  |  Posted 2010-03-19 Print this article Print

Will the iPad kill the Kindle?

Will the iPad kill the Kindle, Nook and other current ebook readers? No, it won't, because many people will simply desire to read books and they do not want nor need all the extra, rich media capabilities found in the iPad. Reading black and white text in a traditional book on an iPad may not provide much of an incremental benefit.

Now, iTunes is supported in the iPad just as it is on the iPhone and iPod touch. But there's still no Web version of iTunes, so you have to get to the iTunes store through the local iTunes application. And no streaming of media (music and video) was announced-yet anyway. Apple recently acquired lala, so it's expected they will offer something with streaming media soon.

The Safari Web browser is in the iPad, which is great. However, there's no support for Adobe Flash-a capability that has literally taken over and become a core part of the Internet. We all visit Websites using Flash for media support (graphics, motion, etc.) every day. Why doesn't Apple step up and support Flash? I really hope Apple will add support for Flash in their mobile platforms.

Apple doesn't yet support multitasking and background operation in the iPhone and iPad operating system. They will clearly need to support multitasking and background on the iPad since users will want to keep a number of different applications open at the same time. For example, it seems obvious that most users would like to listen to music while surfing the Web. Background operation allows support for instant messaging (IM) and alerts. These are two small-but very important-things that Apple needs to incorporate into the iPad operating system very quickly.

Apple also announced iWork for the iPad, a desktop-class productivity suite designed specifically for Multi-Touch. It includes Pages (for word processing), Keynote (for presentations) and Numbers (for spreadsheets). The three applications will be available separately through the App Store for $9.99 each.

The iPad certainly shouldn't be confused with a phone, but we hope that the iPad will support voice over IP (VOIP) using Skype or Google Talk with a headset. And it would be a natural to interface with Google Voice so you could easily manage your calls from your iPad.

In the same way that the iPhone syncs up with the user's PC or Mac, the iPad syncs with iTunes Store and iBookstore will be automatically synced to your iTunes library the next time you connect with your computer. Apple should add wireless sync over WiFi.

J. Gerry Purdy, Ph.D., is Principal Analyst of Mobile & Wireless at MobileTrax LLC.
Dr. Purdy has been covering mobile, wireless, cloud & enterprise for the past 20+ years. He writes analysis and recommendations each week in an easy-to-read manner that helps people better understand important technology issues and assist them in making better technology purchasing decisions.

Disclosure Statement: From time to time, I may have a direct or indirect equity position in a company that is mentioned in a column. If that situation happens, then IÔÇÖll disclose it at that time.

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