I’m about a week late bringing this up, but last week TechDigest reported on a survey by One News Page suggesting that almost 2/3 of 1,000 readers surveyed said they would rather read e-books on the Kindle than the iPad. Though the results weren’t entirely one-sided; TechDigest says that the majority also found the iPad “more compelling” than the Kindle.
It’s not really too surprising that the results would break that way in either case. For dedicated reading, an e-ink device like the Kindle is considerably more “paper-like” than the iPad’s LCD screen.
But on the other hand, the comparison brings to mind the old joke about the two hikers in the woods—the one with the punchline, “I don’t have to outrun the bear; I just have to outrun you.” The iPad doesn’t really have to be a better e-book reader than the Kindle, because it can do so many other things in addition to e-book reading. It just has to be “good enough” that readers don’t feel they have to buy a Kindle too if they already have an iPad.
And of course, given that the free Kindle reader on the iPad compares favorably with the rest of the Kindle app and device family, in a sense Amazon wins no matter whether someone buys an iPad, a Kindle, an iPod Touch, or an Android device.
But don’t count print books out just yet, either. TechDigest reports that 730 of the 1,000 readers said they still keep paper books at home, too.