After thinking more about yesterday’s post "Amazon Kindle + iPod Touch Tablet + Netbooks…?", I am convinced that the Amazon Kindle (which I’m a big fan of) is going to die at the hands of Apple.
The Kindle is great – but at it’s core, it is an electronic book reader.
When Apple launches its forthcoming iPod Touch Tablet - you’ll have an ultra-sexy netbook with iTunes and all the other non-phone goodies Apple packages on it’s iPhone… and the book reader will be one possible feature.
iTunes already sells music, movies, television shows and applications… where are the books? Apple hasn’t had a device capable of delivering a good reading experience. But the iPod Tablet would change that. It would offer the same – and probably better – format that the Kindle does. It would be tied to your iTunes account such that you can manage all of your media files simply and from a single location.
And because it’s a netbook, you can access the internet to link out, subscribe to blogs, and so forth. Eliminating the downfall of the current Kindle (changes are coming in Kindle v2). The only thing lacking is Amazon’s constant connectivity through their wireless deal… but I suppose you could access your books on your iPhone as well (if you were so inclined) – or I am sure that AT&T would be willing to offer some monthly subscription / service.
Finally, inventory shouldn’t be an issue. Amazon has proven that authors and publishers are interested in selling electronically – and the sales numbers support its success. They’d gladly open up to another sales channel provided that Apple doesn’t screw them in the negotiated fee / revenue split.
Alas, much of this will come down to pricing. If the Kindle’s price doesn’t drop quickly, Apple will have an opportunity to take market share with a comparably priced Tablet… at prices anywhere near one another, the Tablet will win because it offers so much more in addition to e-books. But if the Kindle can handily win the pricing war… and solve inventory woes… conusmuers will have to ask if the Tablet’s extra features justify the higher price tag.