The entire technical community, and many other Mac and iPhone enthusiasts, has been holding it’s collective breath over an iTouch/ iPhone. This large-form tablet-type computing device is now rumored to be on it’s way towards the end of this year, or is it next year? The key word here is “rumored”. There have been whispers of this device swirling across the ethereal mists of the web for a long time now, and so far, its a no-show. I do have to admit that the rumor mill has been working overtime lately, and the patter is reaching a frantic pitch, which usually means something is about to happen.
Anyway, I was recently asked if I thought the (rumored) iTouch tablet would spell the death of Amazon’s Kindle. At first, I wasn’t sure how to answer, I mean, we don’t even know that there will be an iTouch Tablet.
As I thought about it, however, I couldn’t help to fall prey to the “what-if”, and this is the conclusion that I came to.
First, the Kindle is an ebook reader, and its functionality is limited to its design. Its capabilities outside of reading extend only to text-based web browsing and the ability to listen to mp3’s while reading. If the current capabilities of the iTouch or iPhone are any indication, the iTouch Tablet’s screen should be high resolution and full color, and its functionality should far exceed that of the Kindle.
The next thing we will look at is price. The Kindle is $299 for the standard, and the DX is $489. The new iPhone 3GS starts at $199, so we can expect the tablet to reach a much higher price point. I wouldn’t be surprised to see an $800 tag on release. For the money, I would probably take a Kindle, if I only wanted to read.
Then it struck me, like lightning on a blue-sky day. It’s so simple. The real question is, does it matter if the tablet “kills” the Kindle. And the answer is a resounding NO. If you think about it, Amazon is sure to welcome all ebook reading competition, because the ebook sales are likely to come from Amazon themselves.
If anything, Amazon should be congratulated for creating a market where there wasn’t one, and double for creating one that is pretty- much dependent on their service. I, for one, take my hat off to great thinking.