Kindle takes a jab at iPad's glossy screen and high price

Kindle takes a jab at iPad's glossy screen and high price

Summary: A new Amazon Kindle ad goes for the jugular and attacks the iPad's glossy screen and high price.

TOPICS: iPad, Amazon, Mobility

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?"

She replies:

"It's a Kindle.

It's $139.

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

Topics: iPad, Amazon, Mobility

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  • iPad and Kindle are totally different markets/devices

    While both can be used for reading books -- with Kindle being better in bright light, and iPad being better in dim light (people sometimes need to buy lamps just to read on Kindle), as well as bringing colour -- iPad is totally different universe of capabilities and use, comparing to Kindle.

    And reading books is like fifth use priority for iPad.

    <b>So it is stupid to face-to-face compare it and Amazon will hardly win with it.</b>
    • RE: Kindle takes a jab at iPad's glossy screen and high price

      No it isn't. Most people who are looking for an eBook reader hear about the iPad. Then, if they have smart friends, are told to buy a way better, more affordable, Kindle.
    • RE: Kindle takes a jab at iPad's glossy screen and high price

      I tide fashion

      Good-looking, not expensive
  • RE: Kindle takes a jab at iPad's glossy screen and high price

    up until this story, I always thought the ipad started at $399. <br><br>Hell no I would never pay $500 for a 16gb ipod touch
  • Haha, what a GREAT commercial!!!

    Suck it iPad! :)
  • A pointless comparison

    The comparison is like saying your car sucks because it has leather seats instead of being a bicycle. I'll stick with my iPad and my cool sunglasses, thanks.
  • Comparable

    Yes they are comparable, and they share part of the same market. Lot's of users are getting Ipad to read and that makes it a kindle rival. So yeah, it's a good comercial and yes everyone that has an Ipad and saw this comercial are gonna be pissed. Yeah all those users that use their Ipad to check email next to their real computer , hehe
    • compare

      amazon makes the the worst mistake you can make in an ad: mentioning your competition. people will ask themselves, yeah sure a black&white, flickering-one-second-every-time-you-turn-a-page, dedicated e-reader is better in direct sunlight, but with an ipad i could do so much more. like a universe of possibilities in comparison with these 25.000 apps and color and email and internet and games and movies and music and and and.

      hmmm? touch choice (kidding).
      banned from zdnet
      • RE: Kindle takes a jab at iPad's glossy screen and high price

        @banned from zdnet

        Who really gives a rip 'how much more' the iPad can do? If they wanted all that stuff they can get an iPod Touch or a netbook for less money. For people who are interested in e-readers (and there are MANY such people) the fact that the iPad can do more is pretty close to meaningless if they can't use it AS AN E-READER.
        Doctor Demento
  • I dig the commercial... but

    is it just me or is the "paid for sunglasses" part dubbed and ackward since your not seeing her lips move?
    • RE: Kindle takes a jab at iPad's glossy screen and high price

      @x21x I have to admit I was not watching her lips... LOL
  • Agree - Pointless Comparison - kind of pathetic actually

    Isn't a better analogy a "Word Processor" (remember those?) and a PC? Sure you can compare that one feature of the PC, and if all you will ever need to do it write letters, yeah - the word processor is probably fine for you. But advance yourself a 6 months to a year and you'll be wanting to do more. So compare these two devices fairly and the iPad destroys Kindle. And will. This is an old story. Kindle is not a good or advanced enough device, with enough functionality to warrant owning in the face of such hugely more powerful, useful devices.
  • Apples vs. Bananas

    Well, the devices do different things (the iPad is more than a book reader). Nevertheless, this is a great ad poking fun at Apple's high device price and glossy screen.
  • The ad is just sophmoric.

    It is a shame that Kindle has defined their user base as a group of people that are too stupid to "get" the utility of their device. It is insulting.
    I also have to agree with the other comments. Comparing these two devices is absurd. If you are using an I-pad then you are likely using it as a book reader probably less then %10 of the time. That implies that the user base is leveraging the other functionality the rest of the time. It is the 90% functionality usage that makes the iPad a compelling tool.

    If you choose a Kindle "over" and iPad then you are really limiting yourself to substantial functionality. However if you buy both then you have really got the best of both worlds.... YES?

    Apple please embrace the matte screen... Like the author I hate glare.
    • RE: Kindle takes a jab at iPad's glossy screen and high price

      @james@... While I'm not a huge fan of screen glare Apple probably won't abandon it until someone invents an oleophobic matte surface. Glare is better than annoying fingerprints.
      • RE: Kindle takes a jab at iPad's glossy screen and high price

        @dheady@... Given the choice I'd rather have an anti-glare screen and use a microfiber towel to wipe off fingerprints.
    • RE: Kindle takes a jab at iPad's glossy screen and high price


      Except that Apple IS marketing the iPad as an e-reader, so it isn't Amazon comparing the Kindle to the iPad, it's Apple. Amazon is merely responding.
      Doctor Demento
  • RE: Kindle takes a jab at iPad's glossy screen and high price

    "The iPad starts at $499 ? a 360 percent premium over the Kindle". No, a $499 device is a 260% premium over a $139 device.

    499 / 139 = 3.59 = 359% (round to 360%). The "premium" then would be 260% (=360% - 100%).

    To verify, the student can check the "premium" of a $139 device over a $139 device - we know the answer will be zero:
    139 / 139 = 1.00 = 100%. The premium is thus 0% (=100% - 100%).
    • RE: Kindle takes a jab at iPad's glossy screen and high price


      duly noted and corrected!
      - jason
      Jason D. O'Grady
  • RE: Kindle takes a jab at iPad's glossy screen and high price

    The real math is in what the device does for you. The iPad certainly justifies the 'premium' over the Kindle in increased features and usability. Frankly, even at $139 the Kindle is over prices for a one trick pony. Besides, who the heck reads at a beach? The glare from even an old paper book is enough to give one a headache. Not to mention the neck spasms from trying to read and watch bikini clad lasses sashay along the beach. Get real. Put the readers where most people read. Uh, well, perhaps being water resistant would be a 'feature' in that case also. But the lighting should cease to be an issue.