updated 09:45 am EDT, Tue June 29, 2010
Amazon CEO sees Kindle and iPad separate
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos said in an interview published today that he doesn't consider the iPad to be in the same category as the Kindle. He acknowledged that there would be "a bunch" of tablets on the market but saw the iPad and its kind as a "different product category." The CEO reiterated his view to Fortune that the Kindle was a focused device and would succeed through its single-purpose nature.
"The Kindle is for readers," Bezos said.
He also stressed that Amazon wanted to keep its current 80 percent control of the e-book market simply by making the service ubiquitous, running on whatever's available at the time. Amazon just yesterday launched Kindle for Android and gave Apple's devices an advantage by enabling audio and video Kindle books on the iPad and iPhone where the Kindle itself is entirely incapable of video.
Whether Amazon can hold that market share has been cast into doubt. Among its immediate competitors, it now has to face the $149 Nook Wi-Fi, which offers Internet access for less even following the Kindle's price drop. The sheer volume of iPad sales, and the expansion of iBooks to smaller iOS devices, may have also given Apple 22 percent of the e-book market simply by exposing a large number of users to a reading-friendly device with secondary features.