Survey Says E-Book Readers Prefer the iPad, But is it Fair?
A recent survey,
By Howie Fenton
Published: December 9, 2010
A recent survey, conducted by market research company ChangeWave, resulted in the conclusion that consumers are choosing Apple's iPad as their preferred e-book reader over the Amazon Kindle. ChangeWave released the results of a survey last Tuesday which tries to identify consumer trends in the e-reader business. According to author Paul Carton (ChangeWave’s Vice President of Research), Amazon's Kindle holds a "rapidly diminishing lead" over the Apple iPad in the e-reader market; iPad's overall presence in the space has doubled since August; and, the iPad "will be the biggest beneficiary of the expanding e-Reader market this holiday season, followed by the Amazon Kindle.”
According to eWeek, ChangeWave's survey proves that the iPad has been beating the Kindle and that there is every indication that its success will continue until the iPad overtakes the Kindle's market lead. But many are saying that the comparison is unfair because it compares the iPad (tablet) with the (e-readers) Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Noble Nook and Sony Reader. Tablets are much more expensive and are designed to let users interact with features and functionality such as web browsing, video chat, e-mail, watching movies and looking at photos.
According to PC World:
“Comparing a Kindle and an iPad is like comparing a spoon to a Swiss Army knife. Yes, both enable someone to eat a bowl of soup, but the spoon is more or less limited to that role, while the Swiss Army knife might also include a corkscrew, can opener, wire strippers, scissors, tweezers, magnifying glass, and screwdriver.”
And I’m not sure that in the survey they are asking the right question. If people (myself included) were asked a general question about whether they would prefer to use a Kindle or iPad I would say an iPad because of all the cool features. But if asked which device I prefer to use to read books, newspapers or magazines I would say the Kindle. When I am reading I don’t want to be bombarded with "You've got mail," "IMs", Twitter feeds or Facebook invitations. Maybe that means I am just an “old guy” but all I want is to read in peace. Tablet devices like the iPad or Samsung's new Galaxy tablet allow and even encourage users to use e-mail, Web browsing and Farmville, and many readers find the temptation of the media matrix too difficult to resist.
More importantly this is most likely the tip of the iceberg for these types of surveys. I suspect that there will be many more that will result in similar findings. What do you think?