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#331694 - 03/04/2010 18:40 iPad
drakino
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/06/1999
Posts: 7868
Loc: Seattle, WA
(starting a new thread for actual experiences vs preship stuff)

I was going to hold off till I could post hands on info, but the experience this morning is worth telling. I decided a while back that the iPad is likely to be a great system for my grandmother to use, and I planned on buying a WiFi only model for her. Before giving it to her though, I'd use it for a bit to get used to it and then if I liked it, I'd buy a 3G model later. So I pre ordered a 32gb unit and selected the in store pickup. Apple confirmed earlier this week that a unit would be waiting for me between 9am and 3pm.

Fast forward to today. I woke up to arrive around 8:45am, figuring I should get there early enough to also have a chance at accessories if they were limited. Attacked at the bottom of the post is the line when I arrived.

Apple ended up paying the local coffee shop next door to provide everyone free coffee or water while waiting, and they also provided umbrellas for shade. Also out in the front area was some people from the Gold Class Cinemas. They had two of their fully reclining movie theater seats out for people to sit in, and they gave away free membership cards and a free movie ticket for use when they open in May. Promptly at 9am, the store opened and the first people went in to buy their units. By around 9:45, I was in the store, and was escorted to the back to make the purchase. At the back, they asked what size unit was preordered, and people who bought the 16 or 64gb units were moved over to the right, while 32gb preorders went to the left. I found the division odd, and quickly found out why. It seems UPS failed to deliver the 32gb shipment overnight as expected. They offered me the choice of changing units, but I decided to stick with the 32, as they expected them to arrive sometime soon. Now comes the part that explains why Apple is constantly rated well for customer service and satisfaction. Without me complaining or saying a word, they handed over a $100 iTunes gift card as an apology for not having the unit on hand, and took down my cell phone number to call when the unit did arrive. They also handed me a ticket to use when I came back to be able to just walk in the store and buy it. They could have just said "Well, it will be here by 3pm, come back later", but they decided to be nice up front and give a consolation away for another companies screwup.

Since they expected the shipment in anytime soon, I decided to eat breakfast next door instead of heading home. After finishing up breakfast, and a bit of wandering, I left around noon to run another errand. The line when I left was still about as long as the photo, with mostly more people coming to pic up their reserved units. Shortly after 1pm they called and let me know the unit was in. Ended up getting back over to the store around 2pm, and by then there was no one in the reserved line, and about 100 people in line waiting to buy the stock they had left over.



Attachments
ipad line.jpg


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Tom

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#331698 - 03/04/2010 20:57 Re: iPad [Re: drakino]
bonzi
pooh-bah

Registered: 13/09/1999
Posts: 2401
Loc: Croatia
Over at Amazon.com Kindle forum there have been heated (to say it politely) discussions on topics such as whether iPad is fish, fowl or neither, its impact on e-book readers, how large should iPad touch actually grow etc. Rather entertaining.

How is iPad's screen visibility in broad daylight?
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Dragi "Bonzi" Raos Q#5196 MkII #080000376, 18GB green MkIIa #040103247, 60GB blue

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#331701 - 03/04/2010 21:19 Re: iPad [Re: bonzi]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
Though this type of scenario never played out for the iPod, I strongly believe that's the most comparative product when looking at what the iPad is doing and will do to the market. The iPhone has been somewhat of a benchmark and has sold well, but the iPod is has dominated the portable music device like nothing else before (or after) it. I think we'll see the iPad quickly take over from the Kindle and other products in the reader category to start. It's on a path to make iPhone adoption look slow.

What I'm most pleased to see if how well it's been received by developers, with a lot of interesting titles already available prior to the product's release.

Tom, definitely update the thread as soon as and as often a you can with your observations. Since just recently coming to the conclusion this would be a good device for my Mom, it may be prudent to take the same road you are, use it before handing it over.
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Bruno
Twisted Melon : Fine Mac OS Software

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#331704 - 03/04/2010 21:41 Re: iPad [Re: hybrid8]
bonzi
pooh-bah

Registered: 13/09/1999
Posts: 2401
Loc: Croatia
Quote:
I think we'll see the iPad quickly take over from the Kindle and other products in the reader category to start.

I am not so sure - it certainly won't replace kindle for me. But then, I tend to use "best of the breed" devices, not "jacks of all trades" - Garmin, iPod Classic (and empeg in its time), rather basic Nokia, Kindle 2 (not DX), two cameras (very compact and (former) "prosumer")...
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Dragi "Bonzi" Raos Q#5196 MkII #080000376, 18GB green MkIIa #040103247, 60GB blue

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#331706 - 03/04/2010 23:09 Re: iPad [Re: bonzi]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
Don't get me wrong, I still don't think the iPad is the device that will bring eBooks to a level comparative to MP3 consumption today. It's quite high priced when thinking about a dedicated book reader. But that's also where most other products fail. The Kindle (especially the DX) is much too high in price for what it does.

I still think there's room for a dedicated eBook reader product, but IMO, it had better be significantly lower than $100 and offer much better performance than we've seen so far. The Barnes & Noble product would be quite a good contender at $99.

The iPad seems as though it's off to a very good start and I believe once some reviewers and press start making stronger use cases for it, it's going to really bloom. By default, a lot of written material is going to be consumed with them. his will affect the sales of current e-reader products the same way the pretty much every iPod still trounced sales of much lower priced "competitors."

The main reason I'd like to get one for my mom is to simplify her computer use. Everything she does, apart from printing an odd document, can be done with an iPad. Having only a single app open at one time and never getting lost with multiple windows within an app will also help her a great deal I think. The gamble is that if it's not going to work, I'm stuck with it....
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Bruno
Twisted Melon : Fine Mac OS Software

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#331707 - 03/04/2010 23:54 Re: iPad [Re: hybrid8]
drakino
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/06/1999
Posts: 7868
Loc: Seattle, WA
First impressions: Holy crap it's fast.

As for the screen brightness in direct sunlight, I'll have to check tomorrow. It was perfectly readable with the 6pm sunlight directly on it, but a better test will be around noon tomorrow.

First annoyance: When the iPad is in the Official Apple iPad Case, it won't fit in the Official Apple iPad dock. Now I have to decide which one I want to ultimately keep. The case is nice as it acts as a stand, or elevates the iPad slightly for better typing. The dock is nice when using the iPad with iDisplay.
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#331708 - 04/04/2010 00:34 Re: iPad [Re: hybrid8]
DWallach
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/04/2000
Posts: 3728
It's safe to say the Kindle DX is now toast. Dollar for dollar, you get a whole lot more value from a bottom-of-the-line iPad. The regular Kindle is radically cheaper, so I expect it will continue to have a healthy market. I'm modestly curious how Apple's iBookstore may compete with the Kindle bookstore and app. If I got an iPad, I'd presumably install the Kindle app right away and then have all my existing books. Now, whether I'd buy my next book one way or another...

Were I to get an iPad, it would mostly live at home, near the TV, for "casual" use when I can't be bothered to go up to my office and use my "real" computer. I presently have an HP Mini 1000 running Ubuntu Netbook Remix serving that purpose. The iPad would presumably be nicer in some respects, and more annoying in others.

Anyway, I'm sitting this out for now. Maybe once somebody puts one in my hands and I have a chance to play with it, I'll think differently. Or, maybe if/when the novelty wears off and the Reality Distortion Field is gone, there will be a rash of these things on eBay.

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#331709 - 04/04/2010 02:48 Re: iPad [Re: DWallach]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12157
Loc: Sterling, VA
I think the iPad is a nice device. As for the ebook arena, I only think it will add to the market and not take share from the other readers. The Kindle is just a different type of device, and I think it's apples (har har) and oranges to compare the two, particularly with such a price disparity. Bruno, I've come to expect ridiculous statements from you, but there's no chance in hell that the Nook or Kindle would/could/should ever be "significantly lower than $100." Considering the differences in capability and differences in how they're used, I think the Kindle is well priced at half the LOWEST priced iPad.

So anyway, I honestly do hope the new iPad owners enjoy their device. I have no doubt that it will sell well, particularly with the biggest hype going I've ever seen for a gadget. I do, however, maintain that Bruno is insane for saying it will eventually outsell the iPhone.

*edit*
But of course, I can't possibly defend the Kindle DX. That thing is done.


Edited by Dignan (04/04/2010 02:48)
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#331719 - 04/04/2010 11:53 Re: iPad [Re: Dignan]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
Estimates are that Apple pushed 700K devices in the first day. US-only. You still don't think it's going to outsell the iPhone? My hypothesis/prediction has been brewing for a while and it's not something I said at launch day back in January. But given what's been developing in the past month in terms of pre-prders, reviews, developer adoption, app releases and first-day public reaction, I believe it's a reasonable analysis. Couple it with some pretty strong rumors regarding the next OS update and...

Seems like these guys have some guesses as to how well the iPad will do as well:

http://www.apple.com/ipad/ready-for-ipad/
http://googlemobile.blogspot.com/2010/04/google-services-on-ipad-and-tablet.html

Keep in mind that "iPhone" is not "iPod + iPhone" in my prediction - the iPod Touch itself currently outsells the iPhone.

Amazon has moved so few Kindle units that they refuse to publish their numbers. They're already getting pressure from other similarly priced competitors that offer perhaps a little more "wow" such as the Barnes and Noble Nook. The market is not willing to buy in (high volumes) at the price Amazon is asking. Do you think they've sold 700k units total in the past two years? I don't.

The pricing of eBook readers have been holding them back in the market since long before the iPad was announced. e-ink was supposed to be a low cost alternative to other displays, but so far that hasn't happened. Maybe because of poor process, not high enough volumes or simply greed on the part of manufacturers. I don't know. hat I do know is that the number of people that will spend $250+ on a device that only reads books, and proprietary ones at that, is extremely limited.

When a device like the iPad is priced at $499, it makes a device like the Kindle at $250 seem like $250 too high. I'm sorry, the Kindle and similarly priced devices will only go down in sales. Significantly. That's a grounded hypothesis. IMO, to think otherwise is foolish if not crazy-cakes.

You should expect to see radical change in what Amazon comes out with next, both in device capabilities and price point. Or maybe they'll simply abandon the device completely, as they're likely going to be making a decent chunk of change selling their books to iPad/iPod/iPhone owners - they'll also be paying Apple 30% though. smile


Edited by hybrid8 (04/04/2010 12:22)
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Bruno
Twisted Melon : Fine Mac OS Software

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#331720 - 04/04/2010 12:22 Re: iPad [Re: hybrid8]
msaeger
carpal tunnel

Registered: 23/09/2000
Posts: 3608
Loc: Minnetonka, MN
Will Smith on the Tested Podcast was talking about how e-readers need to be 50 to 100 dollars but for different reasons.

He was saying they need to be that price for the mass market to really use them because you won't just throw a 500 dollar device in a bag and not be worried about damage and theft but a 50 dollar one you would.

He also said e-readers are better for reading books. Examples were reading in bed with lights out. With the e-reader you can just use a book light but a back lit screen you get the light blasting out bugging the person with you and causing eye strain. He also was talking about how the e-reader battery lasts for weeks. I haven't used either of these devices but I know how the screens work so I can agree with what he was saying.

The only thing I can think I would want an ipad for would be internet browsing on the couch but I really think the laptop I am using now works better. With a tablet form factor I would have to hold it up all the time of sit in some position that would prop it up. Plus I like a real keyboard I wouldn't want to type this message on an on screen keyboard maybe I would get used to it but I don't see a reason to.
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#331721 - 04/04/2010 12:26 Re: iPad [Re: msaeger]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
Originally Posted By: msaeger
He was saying they need to be that price for the mass market to really use them because you won't just throw a 500 dollar device in a bag and not be worried about damage and theft but a 50 dollar one you would.


I agree and it's what I've been saying since the first e-readers came out, long before the iPad news. The iPad is just the final nail in the coffin for these products at their current prices. So it may be fantastic news for those who want e-ink at reasonable prices.

BTW, you can adjust the brightness on the LCD products. Not sure a book light would be any less annoying to someone else next to you. e-ink still has a lot of promise, but everything out right now is still a big giant "meh."
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Bruno
Twisted Melon : Fine Mac OS Software

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#331723 - 04/04/2010 15:08 Re: iPad [Re: hybrid8]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12157
Loc: Sterling, VA
Originally Posted By: hybrid8
Estimates are that Apple pushed 700K devices in the first day. US-only. You still don't think it's going to outsell the iPhone?

Hold on there sparky. You evidently weren't clear enough on your prediction. What's the time period you're talking about? Are you saying the iPad will outsell the iPhone on release day? The first month? This year? In the long term?

Of course I wouldn't balk at a prediction of outselling it this month, but that prediction is meaningless. When you have users as rabid as Apple fanatics like you, they're going to buy the whole stock right off the bat. In this case, that doesn't tell me anything about the long term success of the product.

Why would anyone be surprised if the iPad outsold the iPhone? The 3Gs is almost a year old, and the iPhone has been around forever. People know what it is. It has prepared people for what the iPad is.

Quote:
Keep in mind that "iPhone" is not "iPod + iPhone" in my prediction...

Why would I have thought that?


I don't know why you're so eager to bash ebook readers, but I just can't agree with you. I think the Kindle is fantastic. Are you an avid reader? And sure, I'd love to see the Kindle go for $99, but that's meaningless. I'd love to set imaginary, unrealistic prices for lots of things, but that doesn't mean I'll get them. What's the difference between saying that, and saying "gee, I think the iPod Nano shouldn't be $149, it should be more like thirty bucks?"

Analysts have started thinking that Amazon might lower the Kindle to $199, and I think that's more than reasonable for what you get. Personally, I just don't think you can compare the Kindle and the iPad. They're different products, they do different things, they're completely different price categories, and just let the people who own Kindles enjoy them.
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#331724 - 04/04/2010 15:12 Re: iPad [Re: hybrid8]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12157
Loc: Sterling, VA
Originally Posted By: hybrid8
Originally Posted By: msaeger
He was saying they need to be that price for the mass market to really use them because you won't just throw a 500 dollar device in a bag and not be worried about damage and theft but a 50 dollar one you would.

I agree and it's what I've been saying since the first e-readers came out, long before the iPad news. The iPad is just the final nail in the coffin for these products at their current prices. So it may be fantastic news for those who want e-ink at reasonable prices.

Um...you're being contradictory here. You're agreeing with him that ebook readers have been too expensive to throw in a bag, but you think the $500+ iPad is the final nail in the coffin because of it? Or were you combining two thoughts into one there?

And Matt, I don't know what you're speaking to specifically, but the Kindle is not $500, the iPad is (well, it starts there). The Kindle is $259. The only place my wife doesn't want to take it is ON the beach. She'll take it with her when she goes to read it on the boardwalk or on the room's balcony, but you wouldn't want to get sand in it. This would be the same for the iPad.
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#331725 - 04/04/2010 15:13 Re: iPad [Re: hybrid8]
tanstaafl.
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/07/1999
Posts: 5403
Loc: Ajijic, Mexico
Originally Posted By: hybrid8
What I do know is that the number of people that will spend $250+ on a device that only reads books, and proprietary ones at that, is extremely limited.

I am impressed that you can present such reasoned and authoritative information when you have never even held either product in your hands.

"...only reads books"? Did you forget about the FREE 3G wireless capability that lets you instantly and seamlessly download new material anyplace in the world where there is cell phone service? Yes, the iPad can do that too... for an extra $130 for the 3G modem and a $30/month access fee. Hmmm... that $250 Kindle price is starting to look better and better.

Originally Posted By: hybrid8
Do you think they've sold 700k units total in the past two years? I don't.

Odd... many (if not most) analyses that I come across (after an admittedly cursory Google search) indicate sales are already in the millions.

Do I think the Kindle can compete with the iPad? Of course not. The iPad is twice the price, twice the weight, half again the size, has a tiny fraction of the battery life, is awkward to hold, and above all is not designed to be an e-book reader! It is a computer. It may well be a very nice and capable computer, I wouldn't know. But as an e-book reader, IT SUCKS! You might as well be saying that the iPad is going to put the Schwinn bicycle company out of business because the iPad is smaller, lighter, and lets you browse the internet. It's an Apples and Oranges [thank you, Dignan] comparison.

My wife traveled in Europe with her Kindle last summer, and every time she took it out of her purse (yes, her purse! It is that compact!) she was the center of a mob scene. Everyone who saw it, held it, read from it, wanted it. Particularly older people whose wrists and arms are not up to the task of holding a heavy book (or tablet computer!) for any length of time.

If there is a cost problem with the Kindle, it is not that the reader costs too much, but that the books for it are vastly overpriced. The iPad will have this problem too, until the publishing companies come around and face reality. It is absolutely preposterous to pay more for an electronic download of a book than the paper copy would cost at Costco or Barnes and Noble. Just as the MP3 revolution is changing the face of the music industry, e-books will change the publishing industry.

I won't be at all surprised if Apple sells more iPads than Amazon sells Kindles. There are lots of fanboys around willing to pay exorbitant prices for anything with an Apple logo, and e-book readers is a much smaller niche market than computers. However, iPad sales won't be at the expense of the Kindle. Yes, the iPad and the Kindle share a few capabilities (OK, one capability). The iPad is greatly superior to the Kindle as a computer. The Kindle is greatly superior to the iPad as an e-book reader.

Neither one is going to cause much concern to the folks at Schwinn.

tanstaafl.
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"There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch"

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#331726 - 04/04/2010 15:23 Re: iPad [Re: tanstaafl.]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12157
Loc: Sterling, VA
Originally Posted By: tanstaafl.
My wife traveled in Europe with her Kindle last summer, and every time she took it out of her purse (yes, her purse! It is that compact!) she was the center of a mob scene. Everyone who saw it, held it, read from it, wanted it.

Thanks for bringing this up. My aunt and uncle were in town this weekend. They're in their 60's and are simply rabid about reading. Right up until the time we brought out the Kindle to show it to them, my uncle, who's a writer himself, was still balking at the idea of a digital reading experience. Once we showed him the Kindle, he was blown away, and my aunt especially now expects one from him for Christmas. Neither could see spending $500 for the iPad (and this was before I said anything about it, so I didn't poison their minds smile ).

To be completely fair, I have never held an iPad, so it's not entirely fair for me to criticize it. But I'm not criticizing it for what it IS. I don't really care about the flash stuff, and in the end I don't really care about the multitasking stuff, because my expectations were that it would be a big Touch. What I keep arguing is that it has a place in SOME homes, but not all. It doesn't have a place in ours, so we won't be getting one.
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#331727 - 04/04/2010 16:40 Re: iPad [Re: hybrid8]
bonzi
pooh-bah

Registered: 13/09/1999
Posts: 2401
Loc: Croatia
Appeal of e-Ink is not low cost. It is extremely low power consumption and paper-like feel. One charge of Kindle battery is really good for two weeks of reading (if you keep cellular modem mostly off). Reading from the Kindle feels so natural that after several pages it "disappears" as a gadget - you simply read a book.

I mostly carry my Kindle in jacket pocket wherever I go, without the cover (it won't fit with it), so I can read in a cafe, or over the lunch. Nothing happened to it so far (I bought it almost six months ago, the moment it was available in Europe).

I can envision buying an iPad, but the usage profile will be completely different. As a reading platform, I guess I would be using the Zinio platform to read magazines on it (for example Aviation Week & Space Technology to which I subscribe) - Kindle is not a good platform for that. But I think I would mostly use it for light web browsing and perhaps watching a movie now and then - not even for what I am doing now, since I hate soft keyboards.
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#331728 - 04/04/2010 16:59 Re: iPad [Re: tanstaafl.]
bonzi
pooh-bah

Registered: 13/09/1999
Posts: 2401
Loc: Croatia
Quote:
If there is a cost problem with the Kindle, it is not that the reader costs too much, but that the books for it are vastly overpriced. The iPad will have this problem too, until the publishing companies come around and face reality.

Actually, Apple contributed to rising e-book prices by, in effect, colluding with five out of six big publishers to push the "agency model" to all former retailers (including Amazon).

Before this, firms like Amazon would buy a stock of books (paper or electronic) from publishers, pay them about 50% of list price, and sell them at the price they set, often at loss. For example, for many NYT bestsellers the list price would be around $25, so the publisher would get $12 or $13, while Amazon would often sell for those magical $9.99.

Publishers (and some tame authors) complained this is "devaluing" the books. After reaching such agreement with Apple, they pushed the "agency model" on other retailers. After that model, books are sold by the publisher, at the price they set (same for all shops - out goes the competition), and the shop is just an agent, getting 30% commission. This was directed squarely against Amazon, where the end-user prices were typically 10-20% lower than at B&N, Sony or others.

It seems that big publishers are desperately clinging to the model where they earn the most during the first few days of sales of first edition hardcovers of their stars, and try to push the e-book genie back into the bottle.

Amazon has responded with changes to its direct to Kindle publishing program for indie authors and small publishers: for books that cost from $3 to $10 (there are some other conditions) the author's cut is now unprecedented 70%.
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Dragi "Bonzi" Raos Q#5196 MkII #080000376, 18GB green MkIIa #040103247, 60GB blue

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#331729 - 04/04/2010 21:48 Re: iPad [Re: Dignan]
msaeger
carpal tunnel

Registered: 23/09/2000
Posts: 3608
Loc: Minnetonka, MN
I was trying to say why I don't think the ipad will replace e-book readers but I also think the e-book readers need to be much cheaper to replace printed books so yeah it was two thoughts. I wasn't talking about any specific e-reader I was at Walmart today and saw a Sony one for 179.00 I think so yeah they are already cheaper than the ipad but they are too much to replace printed books.

The beach example is exactly what Will Smith said 250 or 500 dollars never would take it but 50 you would.

So to summarize I don't think the ipad will replace e-readers but I don't think e-readers will replace printed books until the price drops a lot and maybe not even then smile.
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Matt

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#331736 - 04/04/2010 23:30 Re: iPad [Re: msaeger]
tanstaafl.
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/07/1999
Posts: 5403
Loc: Ajijic, Mexico
Originally Posted By: msaeger
So to summarize I don't think the ipad will replace e-readers but I don't think e-readers will replace printed books until the price drops a lot and maybe not even then


You're looking at the wrong aspect of the cost. It's like buying a printer. The up-front costs are trivial compared to the operational expense.

What if the price of the e-books came down to a reasonable level -- say one or two dollars? My wife's Kindle is a year and a half old, and she has already spent more than four times the cost of the Kindle on the e-book downloads. If e-books were priced more in relation to what they cost to produce, an e-book reader would be far less expensive than printed books in the [not-so] long run.

tanstaafl.
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"There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch"

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#331737 - 04/04/2010 23:43 Re: iPad [Re: tanstaafl.]
msaeger
carpal tunnel

Registered: 23/09/2000
Posts: 3608
Loc: Minnetonka, MN
I get what you are saying but the beach example really sums it up for me. If you go to the beach you won't leave a 250.00 dollar device while you go for a swim but an 8.00 dollar book you would.
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Matt

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#331738 - 04/04/2010 23:43 Re: iPad [Re: msaeger]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
The iPad should have already broken all iPhone single day and weekend sales records. It will probably beat the iPhone first month record. But those aren't what I was speculating originally anyway - they're just nice indicators of things to come. I think the iPad line is going to outsell the iPhone long-term. Apple might completely turn everything on its head in the next few years by dramatically changing both products though. smile

I think some of you guys are getting too personal. I'm not making observations based on what I want nor what I would feel would fit my pocket book. I'm looking at current and historical performance of the market at large. Basically everyone else as a whole, not including me.

We can argue technical merits all day and I will probably agree with most of the points you guys make. Most of them are simple facts and easy to verify. But at the end of the day, the market at large is making their purchasing decisions not only on those merits. It's painfully clear that Amazon has not been able to revolutionize the print industry with the Kindle. Nor has anyone else.

So far, Apple seems to have the best shot of doing this. I'm very (very) confident that we're going to see far more ebook purchases with the iPad than with all other e-reader products combined.

I'd be surprised if Amazon sold as many Kindles as Apple have sold AppleTV. I think that at $99 a brand-name eBook reader would sell very well. I don't think it would sell as well today as it would have one year ago though. Not with the specs of current products that is. Maybe the Nook. At $50, they'd really move. And I strongly believe that's where the price for this type of device needs to go to reach the mainstream.

This pricing doesn't reflect on my opinions of the iPad - that's a completely different type of device with its own set of rules. I'd have preferred to see it start at $399 with fewer model variations to choose from, and a lower priced upgrade to 3G and GPS. However, given the demand, I think Apple is pretty safe with the current pricing.

One of the early lauded e-ink features was certainly cheap production. And of course flexible substrate super-thin substrate. None of which are being featured in any commercial product today.

Again: I'm not interested in an iPad for myself. I have owned and continue to own only one iPod model, the second generation touch. I bought it primarily for development purposes. Other than that, I own and have owned a number of Apple computers. I don't think that makes me a rabid fan boy. No one else makes computers even 1/4 as good at any price. Again, simple facts, easy to verify.

And, in case no one remembers from other threads, I do like the idea and promise of e-ink (very VERY much so in fact). I just don't like the pricing on the current reader products (for myself, which is irrelevant to others) nor for their market growth.


Edited by hybrid8 (05/04/2010 00:05)
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Bruno
Twisted Melon : Fine Mac OS Software

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#331739 - 04/04/2010 23:56 Re: iPad [Re: tanstaafl.]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
Originally Posted By: tanstaafl.
You're looking at the wrong aspect of the cost. It's like buying a printer. The up-front costs are trivial compared to the operational expense.


But it's not. At least Amazon haven't positioned it as such. If they had, they'd have sold a lot more units. Keep book prices where they are and sell the reader for $50. That's the printer model. Unless Amazon are making these by hand in Bezos' office, they're definitely making a profit on them. When you sell a printer for $100 with a $100 rebate, there's not really any room left for margin... Amazon is far from the printer model.

People (OTHER people) balk at $259. It's above the impulse purchase price for the mainstream. The first barrier is crossing under the $200 mark. Next the $100 mark. Amazon specifically, may also consider supporting ePub. They're starting to look like a Windows media-only playing music device...
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#331743 - 05/04/2010 01:19 Re: iPad [Re: hybrid8]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12157
Loc: Sterling, VA
Originally Posted By: hybrid8
Amazon specifically, may also consider supporting ePub. They're starting to look like a Windows media-only playing music device...

That's one thing we can agree on. There's a lot of content out there that I'd love for my wife to be able to get on her Kindle.

Originally Posted By: drakino
Now comes the part that explains why Apple is constantly rated well for customer service and satisfaction. Without me complaining or saying a word, they handed over a $100 iTunes gift card as an apology for not having the unit on hand, and took down my cell phone number to call when the unit did arrive. They also handed me a ticket to use when I came back to be able to just walk in the store and buy it. They could have just said "Well, it will be here by 3pm, come back later", but they decided to be nice up front and give a consolation away for another companies screwup.

Credit where credit is due, that's excellent customer service. I'm still waiting for the FitBit I ordered, they just missed their FOURTH estimated ship date, and when they do this the company is completely unreachable. I don't expect a discount or even have the shipping costs removed. All I want to know is what's going on!


By the way, I must admit that there's one thing that makes me crave an iPad at the moment, and that's the fact that Square for some reason chose it as its launch device. My guess is that it works out well for them, in that they're leaving beta and getting onto the hot new device, but they can still limit the number of devices they're launching on. I so hope that they release an Android app eventually, because I'd LOVE to be able to take credit cards out in the field.


Edited by Dignan (05/04/2010 02:29)
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#331752 - 05/04/2010 06:19 Re: iPad [Re: tanstaafl.]
bonzi
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Registered: 13/09/1999
Posts: 2401
Loc: Croatia
Quote:
What if the price of the e-books came down to a reasonable level -- say one or two dollars?

Don't hold your breath, Doug, at least for anything from authors who make their living from writing and use services of professional editors and such. For me, the price close to that of mass market paperback is already good enough. I have recouped the price of Kindle through free classics and an occasional cheap indie I would not be able to read otherwise.

Quote:
If e-books were priced more in relation to what they cost to produce [...]

Software is not priced in relation to what costs to press a CD, but what costs to write and test it. The same holds for books. Now, like there is open source and other free software, there are free and almost free books, but, as there is no "support" or "maintenance" for a novel, professional authors have no choice but to charge for their work when the book is sold.


Edited by bonzi (05/04/2010 06:26)
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#331753 - 05/04/2010 06:53 Re: iPad [Re: Dignan]
bonzi
pooh-bah

Registered: 13/09/1999
Posts: 2401
Loc: Croatia
Originally Posted By: Dignan
Originally Posted By: hybrid8
Amazon specifically, may also consider supporting ePub. They're starting to look like a Windows media-only playing music device...

That's one thing we can agree on. There's a lot of content out there that I'd love for my wife to be able to get on her Kindle

That wouldn't help, until stakeholders agree on interoperable DRM scheme (or get rid of DRM entirely), which I don't think is likely in the short term. DRM-free ePub content is already relatively easy to put on Kindle, using either Amazon's own conversion service or one of several good free conversion utilities.
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#331755 - 05/04/2010 10:40 Re: iPad [Re: bonzi]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12157
Loc: Sterling, VA
Originally Posted By: bonzi
Originally Posted By: Dignan
Originally Posted By: hybrid8
Amazon specifically, may also consider supporting ePub. They're starting to look like a Windows media-only playing music device...

That's one thing we can agree on. There's a lot of content out there that I'd love for my wife to be able to get on her Kindle

That wouldn't help, until stakeholders agree on interoperable DRM scheme (or get rid of DRM entirely), which I don't think is likely in the short term. DRM-free ePub content is already relatively easy to put on Kindle, using either Amazon's own conversion service or one of several good free conversion utilities.

Are you certain about this? I'm almost positive you can't convert epub using Amazon's service. I believe there's something you can install on the Kindle from a third party developer that converts un-DRM'd epub on the fly, but I wasn't aware of any official means to do so.
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#331757 - 05/04/2010 11:27 Re: iPad [Re: Dignan]
drakino
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Registered: 08/06/1999
Posts: 7868
Loc: Seattle, WA
I'll post more impressions of the device later, so that way I don't disrupt the eBook conversation :-)

Apple did announce this morning that they sold over 300,000 of them, along with 250,000 books, and 1,000,000 app downloads. Not bad for one day of sales (Saturday). The iPhone 3GS was over a million in the first weekend (Fri-Sun sales), same for the iPhone 3G. Both were available in many more markets.
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#331759 - 05/04/2010 11:40 Re: iPad [Re: drakino]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12157
Loc: Sterling, VA
Great numbers, but I still want to see the long term sales before I hand them the trophy.

And I know you specifically said "app downloads," so I don't think you're confusing the numbers like the media has in the past. It irritates me when Apple releases a press release like "we've had one million apps downloaded from the store!" and the media says "wow! Apple has sold one million apps!" without realizing that a majority of those apps were probably free. This is not Apple's fault at all, it's just something that bothers me.


Edited by Dignan (05/04/2010 11:41)
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#331760 - 05/04/2010 13:42 Re: iPad [Re: Dignan]
ricin
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Registered: 19/06/2000
Posts: 1495
Loc: US: CA
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#331761 - 05/04/2010 13:52 Re: iPad [Re: ricin]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12157
Loc: Sterling, VA
Originally Posted By: ricin

Those are always so tough to watch! Holy cow!
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