A new television ad promoting the Amazon Kindle directly targets the iPad's glossy screen and high price. In it, a pretty woman and a goofy guy in a white t-shirt have an ackward conversation about using their book readers as they sit outside by the pool.
The video's embedded below, but it pretty much goes like this:
The guy notices the Kindle being read by a woman next to him at a pool. The hapless dude's "iPad" suffers from an intense glare from the iPad's glossy screen. iScreen glare is worst when used outside in direct sunlight while wearing a white t-shirt.
After not being able to read his device he turns to the woman next to him (reading the Kindle) and says:
"Excuse me, how are you reading that -- in this light?"
"It's a Kindle.
I actually paid more for these sunglasses"
The new TV ad is going after a feature that I've complained about since it came out -- glossy screens. I hate 'em.
Glossy screens are great on stationary computers (iMacs) and on monitors (like the new 27" ACD) where you can control the lighting. But they are terrible on mobile devices (iPhone, iPod, iPad MacBook) when they're used outdoors or near a window in direct sunlight.
For some people, it's not a big deal, but for me it's a dealbreaker on a notebook computer. I will only buy a matte screen MacBook, because glossy screens are terrible outdoors and almost as bad in the passenger seat of a car -- depending on the amount of sunlight.
Luckily Apple currently offers an antiglare finish on its MacBook Pros, but it charges an absurd $50 penalty for something that should be the default configuration. I tolerate glare on my iDevices but would prefer an anti-glare iPad any day.
No matter where you stand on the glossy/antiglare screen debate, one feature Apple will have a tough time competing on is price.
The new Kindle ad points out that it starts at $139 (it's also worth noting that it's sold out). The iPad starts at $499 -- a 260 percent premium over the Kindle. In the current economy, that's enough of a gap for Amazon to put a serious dent into iPad sales this holiday season.
Tip: PC Magazine