Thursday, September 2, 2010

David Pogue-- i-Pad v. Kindle Debate

August 30, 2010, 5:23 pm

Another Way to Look at the iPad vs. Kindle Debate

Last week in The Times, I reviewed the Amazon Kindle 3. It’s head and shoulders the best e-book reader on the market — at least among the ones that use an E Ink screen.
In comparing the Kindle with the Apple iPad, however, I noted that Amazon’s e-book catalog has 630,000 books available — compared with only 60,000 for Apple. (Apple, for example, doesn’t have any books from Random House, the largest American publisher.)
A number of readers, however, sent me notes like this one:
“David: Your article makes a point that I have seen made before, and which seems to me both misleading and irrelevant. You say: ‘… just in case you were indeed considering the iPad primarily for its e-book features … the Kindle’s catalog of 630,000 current books is 10 times the size of Apple’s.’
“So what? I have an iPad. I have the Kindle app on my iPad. I buy almost all my e-books from Amazon because, as you say, they have a better selection. Now I have access to the Apple library, the B&N library and the Amazon library on one device. And PDFs. And while I’m reading, I can always zoom over to Wikipedia and look up some term or event that I’m not familiar with. My spending at Amazon has increased drastically since I got the iPad.”
He makes the point pretty clearly, but here it is again: Because both Amazon and Barnes & Noble offer excellent e-book reading apps for the iPad (for their own proprietary e-books), the size of Apple’s e-book library is essentially irrelevant.
True, you might prefer Apple’s e-book reading software, with its gorgeous depiction of a handsome wooden bookcase laden with your full-color book covers (even though Apple shamelessly ripped off this interface from Classics, Delicious Library and other existing apps).
But my readers are quite right: thanks to the Amazon and Nook apps, the size of Apple’s bookstore really shouldn’t be a factor in your buying decision.