Why the iPad Couldn’t Kill the Kindle

When Apple launched the iPad last spring, most everyone assumed it would kill the Kindle. After all, the iPad had a multi-touch screen, a crisp, color display, the ability to view books, photos, and movies, and run thousands of applications.

A Man Throwing a Punch - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/peepo, Image #3303079

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/peepo

For Amazon, this seemed like the classic David vs. Goliath scenario—the single-purpose, underpowered Kindle against, the multi-purpose, powerful iPad.

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But then a funny thing happened on the way to the gallows. The Kindle not only survived, but according to Amazon, it has become it’s biggest selling product—ever. We don’t know exactly how many Kindles Amazon has sold, since the company refuses to release specific numbers. Nevertheless, some experts estimate that they sold as many as eight million Kindles in 2010.

Not that the Apple iPad has suffered. Apple had sold more than 14 million iPads last year. Not too shabby.

But it is clear that we have two distinct product classes here with less overlap than originally thought. Apparently, the market is big enough for both.

So how did Amazon do it? How did they compete with the Mighty Apple, when everyone was predicting they would be crushed by a more sophisticated machine? They used a four-prong strategy:

  1. Amazon kept the price of the Kindle in the impulse range. The cheapest iPad (16GB, wireless only) is $499. The cheapest Kindle is $139 (wireless only)—less than one-third the cost of the iPad. Obviously, that doesn’t make it an impulse item for everyone, but it is far easier for customers to justify $139.00 than $499.
  2. Amazon made the Kindle software available on every device. Currently, Apple’s iBooks application only runs on the iPad, the iPod, and the iPhone. Amazon’s Kindle app runs on almost every device you are likely to have—Kindle, your desktop, Android, iPad, iPod, and the iPhone. Best of all, your most recently-viewed position syncs in the cloud. This means you can be reading on your Kindle, set it aside, and pick up on your iPhone where you left off.
  3. Amazon maintained its focus on product breadth. Almost every book I could possibly want to read is available in the Kindle format (with the exception of more obscure theology or history books I often read). Some will argue that other readers have even more available. Perhaps. But one thing is certain: Apple has the most limited selection of all. Fortunately, you can use the Kindle app on the iPad.
  4. Amazon made the single-tasking aspect of Kindle a feature. This is one of the primary reasons I didn’t enjoy reading on my iPad and ended up giving it to a co-worker. In order to read well in today’s always-on, always-connected world, I need fewer distractions not more. I have found the Kindle’s singular focus on reading to be an oasis in the Desert of Distraction.

Perhaps none of these strategies by itself would have been sufficient to compete with Apple, but taken together, they enabled the Kindle, not only to survive, but to thrive.

Question: How can you apply Amazon’s strategy to your own competitive situation? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • http://intellectualoid.wordpress.com/ Reader John

    I got a Kindle for Christmas. I agree with #1. Thanks for noting #4; I think you’re right on about that. I’ve become really engrossed in reading again.
    I might add a #5, though I didn’t know about it until after I got the Kindle: I can Tweet really good insights or elegant writing.

    • http://twitter.com/doughibbard Doug Hibbard

      I didn’t think I’d use that feature when I found it on mine, and I use it every day! My Facebook page is littered with quotes and Kindle links.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I like the social media feature of Kindle, too. I don’t use it much, but I’d wager this will be something that all eBook readers develop more fully this year. Thanks.

      • Anonymous

        I agree. Social media will continually become more integrated with the way books are read. And until the iPad genre of devices come down in price range, Kindle’s niche will be safe.

        Joshua Hood

      • http://twitter.com/JoWiKi Josh King

        I have written B&N asking why it is so slow to add this feature to the Nook Classic. It just doesn’t make any sense to me. As a die hard Nook fan I am encouraged that you think this may be developed this year.

    • TNeal

      That feature would save me the step of writing out good quotes on my Facebook page. I’d probably use that quite a bit.

    • http://missionalmamassoul.blogspot.com/ Amy

      I need to check that out. I wonder if that is only with the latest Kindle that came out last summer. hmmm….

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  • http://twitter.com/doughibbard Doug Hibbard

    For your own situation, I think the example is this: find the one thing you do well, and be unbeatable at it. The Kindle is there to carry all your books around with you. While now there are some ‘active content’ games, they’re either really simple or not that good. But it can’t be beaten for reading books, at least not by iPad.

    There’s also the lesson of using your competition against themselves. The day the iPad came out, Amazon had Kindle for iPad available, and if i remember, it was one of the top apps. Basically the message was: even on your other device, we’re here to be your bookstore.

    Final lesson: content matters. It’s not just about the gadget. Reading tools for most of us are about what we can read with them. Kindle has one of the bigger selections and that matters.


    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Excellent application. This is exactly the kind of comment I was looking for. Thanks.

    • http://twitter.com/LShallenberger Larry Shallenberger

      I like what you said about content being king.

  • B_Schebs

    I agree with you completely on this Michael. I am a Nook owner and never leave home with out it. I love how the Nook, like the Kindle, gives me the “Oasis in the desert of Distraction you spoke about above. Like a true book, it is a singular function item. With the exception if Chess and Sudoku (I have the Wi-fi only version for the Nook, not sure about the color), I can only buy and read books and other reading material. Plus with the e-ink and non-backlit screen I can read for hours without the same headache I get from staring at a laptop or iPad.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I have got to try the new Nook. I haven’t seen the color one, and need to evaluate it.

      • http://twitter.com/jchatraw Jason Chatraw

        hate, hate, hate the color Nook. It’s the worst of both worlds — it wants to be an iPad (and isn’t very good at it) and it wants to be an eReader device (and it isn’t very good at it). You’ll put it down faster than you did the iPad. … Now, I love my Kindle. :)

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          Jason. Wow. That’s the first negative report I have heard. But, then again, I don’t know many people who have one.

    • http://twitter.com/VolleyGirlSC Michaela W

      I agree with your comment about the e-ink. It is the sole reason that I chose a Kindle as my first e-reader. At work I spend the day looking at a computer screen and the last thing I wanted to do was spend my reading time straining my eyes even further. Although I am an avid iphone user and have plans to purchase an iPad for work, I will continue to use the kindle as my reader of choice for all of the reasons mentioned.

  • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S


    It’s the classical example of difference between mass marketing and class marketing. Amazon embraced mass marketing strategy while Apple embraced class marketing strategy. Amazon has preferred penetration pricing while Apple has preferred skimming pricing. Generally, Apple products are costlier than its rival competitors’ products. Like a five star /seven star hotels serving the upper class people through premium pricing, Apple targets the creamy layer of consumers. In India, owing any Apple product (iMac/ iPod/ iPhone/ IPad) is itself a prestige and status symbol.

    On applying Amazon’s strategy to our own competitive situation –-

    Ultimately, it all depends on our business values and vision. Our goals and strategy are built upon our values and vision. From there, we move down to all business plan and tactics. Whether we embark on reasonable profit or abnormal profit, it all depends upon our management beliefs and philosophy.

    At the end of the day, everyone can win in this marketplace. Be it any organization. Both can have their market share. Amazon’s strategy or Apple’s strategy – both can work provided we are genuine to ourselves, understand the pulse of the consumers and do our business with passion & business acumen.

    Uma Maheswaran S

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I think you make a key point, Uma: Know your strategy and stick to it. Amazon didn’t allow itself to be pulled into Apple’s game. It stayed in its own court and played on its own terms. Thanks.

  • Lola J. Lee Beno

    I can only agree with you. I got Kindle3 and I really, really love it. I picked this because of the number of books available from Amazon. My sister loves it as well. I do plan to get an iPad in the future, when I get the funds for this, but I will be using it more for productivity activities such as email, browsing, etc.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      As an alternative to the iPad—albeit more expensive—you might want to consider the MacBook Air. It’s nearly the same size and is a fully functioning computer. I gave my iPad to a colleague and am now using the Air for all my computing needs.

      • Pritchett4

        Michael, did you go with MacBook air 11.6 or 13.3? I have been looking at those also in lieu of iPad and just not sure which way to go – I realize this is off thread, but…

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          I went with the 13.3. Love it!

          • Ben

            You use it for *all* your computing needs? I am also interested in the MacBook Air, but thought I might as well go with the MacBook Pro since they have similar price points. I’d love to see you write a post on the Air if you haven’t done it already.

          • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

            Yes. I still have my MacBook Pro, but I haven’t used it once since converting to the Air three weeks ago. I can run everything on the Air. Surprisingly, it feels faster than my MBP. Programs load faster, due, I think to the flash drive and the faster video processing.

  • Colleen

    I bought my two girls (daughter and daughter in law) Kindles for Christmas. They are totally obsessed with them. LOL They are reading all the time and buying more books than before. Here are some of the reasons they love it: easy buying with one click that sends it straight to the device, screen reads like a book, huge selection of books, able to read the first chapter then buy, size and weight feels like a book.

    And their service is as good as Apple’s. That can’t be underscored enough. The on/off button on mine was hanging and my Kindle also kept crashing. No problem. I talked to a real person on Christmas night who spoke English of all things–and I had a new Kindle three days later. They also thought maybe the crashing had to do with the Amazon cover so they refunded my money so I could buy another one. That’s just unheard of. Fabulous service!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I agree with you on on-click, Colleen. Because of that, even beyond books, I check Amazon first—just because of the convenience and overall experience.

      I haven’t had to test Amazon’s customer service, but you offer a fabulous testimony. Apple is the Gold Standard for me, so this is encouraging to hear that Amazon is playing at the same level. Thanks!

    • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

      I agree with your comments about Amazon’s customer service. I bought my wife a K3, and when it got here, it wouldn’t sync right. Amazon, over the phone/3G, tried to fix it. They couldn’t, so they overnighted me a replacement so she’d get it for Christmas. I got it on the 23rd, only to see that they had sent a replacement for my K2. So I caled them back, and they overnighted another time, the right one, in order to get it here before Christmas! Incredible, super-fast, positive service! That speaks to me more than the product!

      • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

        Wow. That is a great testimony. Compare this to an experience I had at a local camera store over Christmas. I called to make sure they had the SLR model I wanted. They said they had eleven of them. I got in my car, drove to the store, and then discovered that the clerk had made a mistake. I wanted a camera with the body only, but they would only sell it with the kit lens. No apology. No counter-offer. Nothing. Sadly (for them), I went back home empty-handed and ordered the camera from Amazon. It is now sitting on my desk, two days after I ordered it.

  • http://twitter.com/LShallenberger Larry Shallenberger

    A church’s application would be for its leaders to study the composition, personality, and gifting of its unique body and determine the one defining way it can serve its community. The congregation would need to give its self permission to not attempt to address every ill in the community, just the one or two things it could excel at.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Great application, Larry. I was hoping someone would offer a church application of these lessons.

    • http://twitter.com/doughibbard Doug Hibbard

      Good point. I have a good number of people that come to me with ideas about this or that for our church to do, and the question I come back with is this: Can we do this and do it well, with everything else we do? Is this worth not doing something else to do it?

      Kind of like the decision to take the numbers off the Kindle 3 to make the device smaller—though I disagree that that decision was a good one.

      • http://www.bigb94.webs.com Brandon

        Very true…

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  • http://dhjax.me/blog dhjax

    Valid points you raise…Interestingly though, I went for the iPad plus kindle app combination. I wonder what the relative contributions of kindle device sales and kindle content sales are to the Amazon bottom line. Free kindle apps on almost every platform offer the opportunity of a no-cost entry into the kindle content world to people who might otherwise never buy content off the kindle..

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Exactly. In fact, I thought initially that Kindle should get out of the hardware and just hitchhike on every other manufacturers platform. However, they have proven that they can successfully be in the hardware business, too. In fact, without the launch of the original Kindle, I doubt this market would exist today.

    • http://twitter.com/adamrshields adamrshields

      I have several friends that picked up free kindle books to read on iphones and have since purchased kindles. I have a kindle (and an ipad) but I have read the last two books on my android phone (kindle app) because that is what I have had with me.

    • http://www.aaronklein.com/ Aaron Klein

      I don’t think Amazon cares.

      One smart thing they did was to separate the e-book and hardware businesses.

      They each make profits and Amazon is happy either way.

  • http://twitter.com/adamrshields adamrshields

    I had a screen die on my kindle. Called at 6:30 one night. Agreed to send me a replacement in less than 10 minutes after I placed the call and I had a new kindle by 9:30 the next morning.

    I buy almost everything from Amazon now. I have 8 kindles, 2 ipads, 2 iphones and an android phone on my kindle account. So we can all share the books.

    • Anonymous

      So, a key point here is customer service. And, in this case, it sounds like going above and beyond to keep a customer satisfied with their choice of purchase instead of squabbling over what amounts to a very small expense for a large company and a significant expense for a customer.

      Amazon has a great track record in taking care of its customers. With this, they have gained a lot of trust amongst their customer base – which goes a long ways in generating continued sales.

      Find what you do well and then continue to do it well.

      • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

        People sometimes misunderstand the economics of Customer Service. Amazon understands social media. One satisfied customer will pay for the extraordinary customer service they receive, especially when they broadcast their experience to authors via social networks.

      • Ted Slater

        Good points, stranger. ;-)

        • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

          Thanks Ted! Hope things are going well for you in your new ‘neck of the woods’.

      • Ted Slater

        Good points, stranger. ;-)

  • Yvonne Green

    A key factors played a role in this: Marketing, affordable, finances, storage space.

  • http://twitter.com/NibbyP Nibby Priest

    I sell insurance, specifically property and casualty insurance such as Homeowners and Auto Insurance. Often we have been asked to widen our product offering (financial services, real estate, tax preparation) with the enticement of making more revenues.

    We resist to focus on what we do best. This blog helps me reaffirm or goal and focus on our product.

    I’m challenged sometimes by the decisions to be focused or one task based in the product we have to offer.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Great application, Nibby. Focus is often the fastest way to get and stay ahead.

  • Michael

    While I don’t have either, as a pastor I note that kindle seeks to have a “singular focus” while the Ipad has multiple uses. In the church world sometimes we shoot at too many targets and need to refine what our ministries are to be all about. A laser like focus may sound harsh to many of the people, but by streamlining our ministries we might actually minister to more people, doing it more effectively and efficiently.

  • http://fireandhammer.blogspot.com Dennis

    Thanks for this post. You have started the year by hitting a home-run.

    My take home application is something mentioned in another comment and also mentioned in several of your earlier posts: focus on what I do best. Amazon stayed away from all the bells and whistles of devices like the IPad and stayed with what they do best. Christians are best at what God has given us the ability to do, with each of us having different gifts, skills and personalities. We can stick with his calling or we can load up a bunch of spiritual apps and try to be all things. A focus on what God has called us to (what we do best) is where we will find the most success.

  • Gary

    Amazon focused on doing what they do and did it well. They sell books (and other merchandise), but found a way to get the books out in many different formats, hard copy, audio and Kindle. All business have a core product and you must find a way to get that product out. Amazon also found the sweet spot in pricing. Same goes for all products, there are sweet spots and if you enter the market you better be at the sweet spot. Apple trys to hit a higher end market, much like Starbucks and coffee. If you like all the fancy with with your reader IPad makes more sense, if you want a reader Kindle wins hands down. I have read more books in the four months I have had my Kindle then the previous year. I don’t see the “new” wearing off anytime soon.

  • http://healthyandheavy.net hollib

    I have a Nook and I also have an iPad and I have no idea why someone would think that the iPad would replace the Kindle or Nook. People who want an eReader get a Kindle or a Nook. Number one reason – it does exactly what they want at a FRACTION of the cost of an iPad. As much as I love my Apple products (MacBook, iPod, iPad), I don’t feel that everything they bring out is automatically better than every other product. This is nothing more than drummed up competition just to get people talking. And look – that’s what we’re doing!

  • http://twitter.com/MacKinnonChris Chris MacKinnon

    You passed on your iPad? I think more people need to hear that.
    I think there are two other reasons Amazon does well. (1) Some people just don’t want to get sucked into the Apple black hole (which ties in with your #1). Every year new Apple products come out, and those who already own them flock to upgrade. Rather than having the flashy and new, which really isn’t that different from the old, and paying so much to have it, people who are readers and not major tech/app people can be more than happy with the Kindle and its consistency. (2) Choose one thing, and do it with excellence. I think a lot of people believe that Amazon stayed book-driven with the Kindle because that is what Amazon is, a bookstore. But it is also a music store, video store, and anything you need store. They could’ve made a multi-function device, linked to various parts of their site, but they didn’t. They chose one facet and made it shine.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I have thought about writing on my iPad experience, but, honestly, I think it is mostly about my preferences and workflow. I love Apple products (big shock, I know), but the iPad just didn’t work for me. I create too much content and need tools like Photoshop, MarsEdit, SnagEdit, etc. None of those run on the iPad.

  • http://www.validleadership.com James Castellano

    First we have to identify our competitive advantage. Once we accomplish this, then we search ways to promote it.

    My personal e-reader is the new nook, which I love. But I understand Amazon has the best platform to sell my products. I recently added my blog to amazon.com and my readers can access it on any kindle app. This can turn into a secondary income stream for me.

  • http://twitter.com/jmpyle Jason Pyle

    Great post Michael. I’m still in the “dark ages” since I don’t have either, but for me if I were going to get one, it would be the Kindle. Price is a consideration for one thing. And while the iPad is a great device that does a lot of things well, Amazon has really focused the Kindle on doing one thing extremely well. A nice lesson perhaps.

    I sure thought it would go the way of the dinosaur with the release of the iPad. Glad to see it not only fighting, but flourishing.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      You weren’t alone. I thought the Kindle was dead, too. So did most of the tech pundits.

  • http://twitter.com/tshuttleworth tshuttleworth

    I must confess that your analysis is correct. Still, I will only carry one device, and since I use books to teach from often, the iPad is perfect for me.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I think it is a matter of preference. If the iPad works for you, great. I don’t want to carry any more than I absolutely have to.

  • http://twitter.com/AdamCErickson Adam C. Erickson

    This is exactly the type of thing I was thinking yesterday when you tweeted the spread between Kindle sales and iBook sales. It’s amazing to me how Amazon bested Apple, but they were able to do it by crafting the experience to the user. Apple often innovates things by making things easy for the end user. Amazon bested them at their own strategy by almost making it difficult to not be able to read a Kindle book. I was converted to a dedicated Kindle user by first buying a book on my iPhone to test the experience out. I was sold immediately.

    I think one key point that could be added to the “distraction free reading environment” comment is that you also can read it anywhere. I recall a weekend last year where I was sitting on the beach in Florida and able to read a book in direct sunlight. Also, to their advantage, I happened to finish the book up while nestled in my spot in the sand. They made it incredibly easy for me to hop over to the Kindle store directly on the Kindle, buy a book, and download it so that I was back to reading just 3 minutes later. And I never even had to leave my spot in the sand.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      The convenience is just outrageous, isn’t it?

  • http://bladeronner.com Ron Dawson

    Your inquiry reminds me of Jim Collins point about being the “hedge hog.” I have a friend and ex-ad man who talks about “picking your Hill.” That is to say, pick the one aspect of your industry that you can be the chief expert in. The “hill” you can defend using a battlefield analogy. Call it picking a niche, specialization, or focus, I’ve found that those who do it are frequently more successful, but besides that, they’re more satisfied and fulfilled.

    And there’s much to be said about the few distractions. I recently started using a Moleskin notebook to take down ideas. No technology. No flashing lights. Just a pen, paper, and a cool black cover with strap. There’s a certain peace that comes with that. 1 Col 3:15 says to let the peace of Christ rule in your heart. The simplicity of a product like the Kindle (or a Moleskin notebook) really helps in that regard.

    Thanks for another great post.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I’ve gone back to my Moleskine notebook, too. I like how quickly it boots. ;-)

    • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

      I use Moleskine for my journals. No better notebooks!

  • http://randyelrod.com Randyelrod

    I love my iPad, but the Kindle gets my vote for reading books. At night, the light from the iPad is extremely tiring on my eyes. The Kindle is a pleasure to read at night or in the bright sunlight of the beach.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I found the same thing on the iPad. I tried to deny it at first, but it did tire my eyes. No question about it.

    • Ben

      That’s an interesting point since I do a lot of my reading in bed at night.

  • http://www.carolyneaarsen.com Caarsen

    I’m a gadget freak and love all of my Apple products. I really, really wanted an iPad. But I also really, really like reading. I knew, like Michael Hyatt said, if I were reading a book on my iPad, I would be distracted by all the gidgets and gadgets available to me. So I went with a Kindle for reading. I love the black and white aspect. Love the battery life and love how small it is. It’s purse-able. And I have millions of books available to me at the push of a button. What more could an avid reader want? (except time).

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_S27NUGJ3ZSUYIRMLSUJB6E6YAY emuelle1

    Most of these product predictions seem to assume that one device (company, car, phone, tablet, computer, etc) will become dominant and eliminate the need for any others, hence the silly term “iPhone killer” that keeps popping up and similar phrases.

    The so-called experts seem not to notice that people often have unique preferences and needs, and no single product can possibly meet each and every preference.

    Last year, I had a choice between the Amazon Kindle and the Barnes and Noble Nook. Based simply on hardware and aesthetics, I choose the nook. I never use the darn thing. Amazon has far better content, so most of my ebooks are in the Kindle format. I read them on my iPhone and on my PC. Even if the nook is a far better device, I’m not convinced Barnes & Noble can compete on content. Amazon has better content, more free content, and better prices. So I prefer their platform and that’s what I use. I keep my nook out so I can tell when the battery is low and plug it in, but I haven’t really used it.

    If the battle were over hardware, Kindle would probably lose. But it’s not hardware; it’s content. Amazon is superior in that realm. That’s probably why Kindle is doing better.

  • Tsquare21

    A Prayer From Jesus

    It’s finally come down to this, I knew it would eventually. Unfortunately for YOU, who have missed the mark, which means you are going to hell. Your portion will be in the lake of fire. Don’t be offended at me, it’s your preacher, or that radio personality, even that man that told you that you are saved, blame them. Then again when your screaming in the pit it really doesn’t matter whose at fault, does it. For it is your responsibility to know the way of salvation.

    Why? You ask. Simply, you trusted man to lead you to Christ. Not once have you asked Jesus if you are saved. If you did you never waited for an answer. There is only one that we should ask on how to be saved, that is Christ Jesus.

    Jesus has made it easy for you to know where you will stand on the last day. Pray this Prayer, and Jesus will answer all who diligently seeks Him.

    These are the last days, This is your last chance.
    Pray the Prayer, and KNOW!


    This prayer is from Jesus that we may hear from Him, that He may speak to our hearts. It only consist of three simple steps.

    1) We need to read one scripture. This will focus us in the word that brings everlasting life.

    2) Since this prayer is from Jesus we need to direct our prayer to Him personally. Too often Christian focuses they’re prayer’s to G_D the father. Scripture proclaims that Jesus should be the focus of our prayer.

    3) The simplest part of this Prayer is to ask Jesus one question. Please, all that is required for this question is that it should be simple. Let Jesus Himself finish the question when He gives you that understanding through this prayer.

    The PRAYER

    The scripture that is the focus of this prayer is “ACTS 2:38″. It’s not necessary to do any study into this scripture. Jesus Himself will give you the understanding that will resonate in your heart. Just read Acts 2:38, keep it in your heart and take this one scripture to prayer

    The most important part of this prayer is that we need to direct our prayer directly to Jesus. If you normally would say Father in your prayer, change your focus from the Father to Christ Jesus, by lifting Jesus name up every time you would normally use Father in your prayer.

    Maybe the hardest part of this prayer is the question that we need to ask Jesus. For man as we are, always trying to understand the question instead of listening to the answer. The simplest question is all that is required.

    Simply ask Jesus ‘WHY’

    For those who are obedient

  • TNeal

    During the Rose Bowl, I rooted for TCU in a house full of Badger fans. Tempered my enthusiasm but didn’t dampen it. Just had to get off subject for a moment. Before the game, my friend put his new Santa-delivered Kindle in my hand and said to look it over. Impressive. The singular focus of the Kindle takes into account most people who purchase a watch simply want to know the time. Like you, I believe added distractions dilute the main reason to purchase a product. In this case, you use the Kindle to read books. The closer you come to that clear task the closer you come to offering me something I really want.

  • http://musicroad.blogspot.com kerrydexter

    an oasis in a desert of distraction — that’s an insight I’ll use in presenting my writing and my blog. I’ve always found it a place of peace and my readers often say so as well, but I’ve not made that a way to bring people in. it is something people are looking for, I think. good idea to consider, thanks.

  • Nora

    I like Amazon’s focus on their product, quality and content. Their customer service is great. Focus and maximizing quality are two of my goals and Amazon has provided an excellent model.

    It is so easy to use the Kindle. It’s focused on what it does and it does it well.

  • Ashley Musick

    I love my Kindle. After staring at my MacBook screen all day long, I don’t want to read by backlight. This is why I think I’ll always love my Kindle, even if I were blessed enough to have an iPad.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I’m the same way.

  • http://tazminivey.com Tazmin Ivey

    Out of everything mentioned in this post, I saw “I GAVE MY iPAD TO A COWORKER.” What an awesome place to work!

  • TNeal

    I’ve been reading a lot of the reasons to have a Kindle and, as a group, you’ve helped me decide what to get my book-loving wife for her next birthday. I’m sure she’ll be puzzled at first-why an E-reader device-then love the Kindle after using it. Besides, like her IPod, I’ll get my opportunities to “borrow” it and check it out for myself.

    The price helps. The Amazon-bookstore focus settles the decision.

  • http://www.bigb94.webs.com Brandon

    True…although the ipad has a lot more features (broader spectrum), the kindle is in a better price range for people. That is why it has not gone down…

  • http://wwwpenandpalette-susancushman.blogspot.com/ Sjcushman

    ” 4. the Kindle’s singular focus on reading to be an oasis in the Desert of Distraction.” This is why I like the Kindle best for reading, too, Mike. My husband loves his iPad, but he’s a multi-tasker who only only does a little light reading on the side, whereas I’m a serious reader (and writer) and love the Kindle’s ease of use. Your question at first seemed to only apply to business folks, but then I thought, even as a writer, perhaps I should focus on “product breadth” as I move towards the publishing end of writing. Thanks again for another great post, and Happy New Year!

  • http://jeffgoins.myadventures.org Jeff Goins

    I’ve thought about getting a Kindle — mostly for spatial reasons. I simply have nowhere else to put my books. And you’re right — the $139 is a lot more appetizing than the $499 iPad (even if I love Apple products). Like you, I’m mostly worried about actually reading a book on the iPad, with the constant connectivity and much more “interactive” options it offers.

  • Steve Grizzle

    To quote Seth Godin, the Kindle is “Tribe” thing. It is for the dedicated reader. I bought one for my wife because she reads constantly, but not my brother in law who gets bored in the middle of a long text message. Amazon kknows their reading audience and I applaud their patience and sticktuitiveness.

  • DrDavidFrisbie

    Ever try to read in a brightly-lit environment? Kindle wins by a mile. (I am referring to the new current-gen Kindle.) Amazon doesn’t have color, killer aps, a huge screen or any of the other nice IPad features, but if you want to read books —– it’s the choice.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I agree.

  • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

    Another difference between the two, that I like the Kindle for, is the look of a real page and ink, versus the glossy glare of the iPad (or Nook, for that matter). After staring at my computer screen all day at work, another glassy view only serves to give me a headache. The Kindle is much easier to read. I’ve owned mine for almost a year, thanks to a video post where you unpacked a Kindle 2.

    In my career, youth ministry, especially in my small town, there isn’t a lot of competition. But I can still strive to apply Amazon’s singleness of purpose to what I do with the teens in our community. I’ve never thought about it in these terms before, but this is what I’ve been trying to do for years: make sure that each and every thing we do fits within our stated purpose and vision. If it doesn’t fit, we don’t do it (most of the time… ;) ).

    It seems as if Amazon does that very well with the Kindle.

    • http://www.bigb94.webs.com Brandon

      True…kindle is very easy to read!

  • http://www.blogintheshire.blogspot.com Joules Evans

    My iPad has a lighter app, but my Kindle is physically lighter to wield when reading, so it wins. I find it’s easier to read on the go, and in bed (even though my iPad is backlit, which is a nice feature that makes my Kindle a tiny bit jealous). Oh, and outside on sunny days. I Can’t read my iPad in the sunshine. BIG drawback. Also, if I felt like hanging upside down off my couch while reading, I think my iPad might make me seasick while it adjusts orientation. If the iPad had a shock absorber app this might help peeps like me, who “adjust their reading orientation” quite frequently. As it is, this lesser known feature of the Kindle, single-orientation, is just another reason I prefer to read on my Kindle.

    Not that I’m giving my iPad away. I still heart my iPad. Especially after I got the keyboard to go with it. The only thing that will make me part with my iPad is when they release one with a camera. It’s just not my reader. Although, I will confess that sometimes I like to open an iBook and flip pages just for fun.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I forgot about the weight. I weight of the iPad bothered me for reading. My arms got tired holding it up. Thanks.

  • Samantha McHenry

    If you look at the research from outlets like NPD, E-Book readers and the iPad target totally different markets (meaning people who might buy). In fact, there’s not really even a “tablet” market, just a market for iPads (editorial comment withheld to protect the delicate emotions of people who are better at buying than thinking). If you look at the numbers from DisplaySearch, E-Book readers have actually taken more customers away from the iPad than vice versa. It’s entertaining to attach theories that might explain phenomena, especially when proclaiming your idea creates the possibility of validation if you guessed right. If you’re into thing’s like Occam’s razor, then it’s sufficient to see the numbers, which confirm the observation that people aren’t buy the iPad in place of E-Book readers. It’s really that easy and not a big surprise.

    That said, what’s with the “murder” motif? The iPad couldn’t “kill” the Kindle because neither is living. These are devices, and words like “sexy” (choosing the wrong type of attraction) and “kill” (choosing the wrong type of dominance) don’t really apply. Sure, anthropomorphic play is fun, but if it’s all you ever use then it’s just your confused reality and not a true metaphor. With the iPad’s reputation as a sexy device and a killer, I don’t think I’ll be touching one any time soon.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      With regard to me using the verb “kill.” It’s a simple literary device. I used it largely because the press described the iPad as a “Kindle-Killer.”

  • http://twitter.com/lovinglyyoursG Georgiana

    Amazon’s Kindle is a fabulous example of “embracing the competition!” Not only did they have a much lower price point but they made their product focus on one task only — reading — not allowing any distractions to interrupt. They also “killed them with kindness” by providing their Kindle application useable on competitive devices on the market.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ben.zuehlke Ben Zuehlke

    I wonder if there was ever really that much of a threat from the iPad to begin with. In my eyes, the iPad and Kindle are vastly different products–kind of like the difference between a calculator and a computer. A computer can add two number for you, but if that’s the only reason you’re buying one, you’re wasting your money. And I think most consumers understand that.

    I do think, however, that the differences between the iPad and e-readers will lessen over time. In fact, they already are with the NookColor which apparently can become an effective budget tablet device if you know what you’re doing.

    So, maybe in a couple years Apple will pose a bigger threat to the e-reader market, but for now, I think the products are just too different for there to be any real competition.

    I suppose a lesson could be to know who your competition really is, and don’t spend time and resources fighting irrelevant battles.

    • http://www.bigb94.webs.com Brandon

      Definitely…the ipad is targeting users who want a mini computer…kindle just does reading…

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I think the difference is obvious in retrospect. I don’t think most people saw the distinction when the iPad was released. Plus, the press loves a good drama. David vs. Goliath.

  • http://twitter.com/abbylive Abby Van Wormer

    I agree with you on these points. Really like point #1. Price point definitely a factor to me, and although I’d love to have both devices, the price of the kindle is appealing when compared to the iPad.

    • http://www.bigb94.webs.com Brandon

      I don’t have any of them, but if I had to choose one (price factoring in)- I would go with the kindle!

  • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

    My company sells business software. We are a very small company compared to our competitors and there have been times where we have been concerned over a “David vs. Goliath” scenario. However, instead of focusing on the other company or product, we continue to focus on God’s direction for our company – creating software that solves problems in our area of expertise and taking great care of our customers.

  • Anonymous

    It’s more like Goliath v. Goliath’s Brother. Everyone wants to make it about the devices but I don’t think thats it at all. It’s about content and who controls access to that content.

    Everyone likes to to put Apple in the bad guy role but who was it that leveraged publishers to a $9.99 price point in the first place? And wasn’t it odd that once the iBookstore launched at $12.99 & $14.99, that Amazon followed suite. . .Hum!

    The difference is . . .that there is no difference. Make a great product with access to great content and at the end of the day, my stock went up and so did yours!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Good point. I am just happy that more than one Giant is in the ring!

    • Anonymous

      I think Amazon followed in raising prices for ebooks more as the result of pressure from publishers than because of what Apple did.

      • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

        I think that is correct. Most publishers felt that $9.99 devalued the content—that is, Amazon was trying to build market share at the expense of the health of the whole ecosystem.

      • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

        I think that is correct. Most publishers felt that $9.99 devalued the content—that is, Amazon was trying to build market share at the expense of the health of the whole ecosystem.

        • Anonymous

          And that’s why I think Apple wins. They don’t need all the market share. When each % equals about $1B to Apple’s bottom line. They just need to be in the game!

  • Christine

    I asked and got a Kindle for Christmas. The moment I opened it, my family was all over me…they thought I should exchange it for an iPad. (They almost got me that instead) I refused. This is exactly why I wanted it. An e-book reader. Plain, simple, efficient. I love it.

  • http://twitter.com/williemacster William McPherson

    Let me first say that I don’t like electronic reading; 1) it is just not the same as crisp book and 2) what happens if our all digital world collapses…that’s right, if there are no actual books: a second Dark Age. I think though Amazon understands the principle of doing one thing extraordinarily well; they know how to develop and market and electronic reader. Though Apple is certainly not a novice, they are becoming more and more diverse, and my view it is only a matter of time before they start doing a ton of things mediocre. Make your product unique and indispensable and I don’t care who you have against you, you will triumph.

  • http://missionalmamassoul.blogspot.com/ Amy

    I have to agree with your #4. I do not need more distractions. Plus, don’t you think the Kindle has a better screen for reading.

  • http://twitter.com/ajeanne Jeanne Farrington

    Love this phrase: “Desert of Distraction.”

  • http://www.faithexperience.com Shane Raynor

    There are lots of good responses here. Besides the e-ink being easier on the eyes, I like the fact that I can hold the Kindle with one hand for a long time without getting tired. It’s light and has few things on it that will distract you from reading. It reminds me of the web browser wars. Those go in cycles. Browsers start adding more and more features, and they get clunkier and slower. Then every few years, a company strips a browser down and goes back to the basics. (Remember Netscape, then Firefox, and now Chrome?) Do one thing better, faster, and more conveniently than anyone else and you’ll come out in front every time.

  • Dan Winters

    As an Elementary School Principal I see the singularity of focus a key element for our school. Lord knows schools are asked to be all things to all people, and it is so hard to keep the focus on one or two key projects. We are planning on revisiting our vision when we get back in January and this is a great reminder to decide what it is we can do best and put most of our energy into that endeavor. Thanks for the thought provoking post.

  • http://peterpollock.com Peter P

    I actually inadvertently use a few of those strategies in my business.

    It’s interesting because the temptation is always there to diversify… the grass is always greener and all that.

    There’s always that element of doubt. I had good sales, but if I had diversified, would that have hurt my sales or brought in more.

    The tendency to second-guess yourself is a killer!

    I’m going to try to remain focussed like Apple and Amazon.

    Thanks, Michael.

  • http://www.confessionsofalegalist.com Jeremy

    I have not bought an iPad yet, but plan to do so. I have had an iPhone since the original came out. Despite this for the exact same reasons mentioned in the post I bought a kindle this year. A great advantage is that for $189 you not only get the kindle but also liftetime 3G access. I love the fact that I do not have to plan ahead to buy a book. I can do it anywhere at anytime regardless of whether or not I have a 3G connection. I do plan to buy an iPad and i will probably use the kindle app to read books on it.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, I love the 3G access. The monthly charge with the iPad got old fast.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, I love the 3G access. The monthly charge with the iPad got old fast.

  • http://twitter.com/NewEnglandHiker Roy Wallen

    As a traditional reader, I am still not convinced. On my day off yesterday, we stopped at a large used book store where I spent $1.39 (yes, with a decimal point in there) on a book by someone I generally like. It has the following attributes:
    1. At 1% of the Kindle, this book is well within the impulse range. In fact, I bought the book on impulse alone. Although I am familiar with the author and like his work, I was not certain about this book. At the cost of less than a cup of coffee, there wasn’t much risk in getting this book.
    2. The book is compatible with every medium — in fact, it IS the medium. Better yet, I don’t need to switch it off for take-off or landing.
    3. I have yet to find a book that I want to read that is only available in elecronic format. Granted, I have reviewed books by new authors that were only available in PDF for the short term but their ultimate goal was to produce a “real” book. In other words, content is not limited. This may happen in the future but, to date, it is not a limitation.
    4. Each book I own is a single-task device.

    As always, thanks for the excellent posting.

  • Mary

    That’s funny. I do look at my Kindle as pure fun and my iPad as a tool.

  • http://www.gospellab.com Gospel lab

    My biggest competitor is time.

    So, I will make it my single task to focus on the breadth of this year and make myself available on every day according to my family’s impulse range. :)

  • http://twitter.com/ThatGuyKC K.C. Procter

    I’m with you. Love the Kindle for it’s simplicity and single-tasking. I’ve got enough trouble with being distracted. I can read books on the Kindle with more focus than I do reading/commenting on blogs.

    It is funny the dichotomy of reaction I get when people see me reading on the Kindle. It’s either: “Why didn’t you get an iPad?” or “Well, that’s cool, but I like ‘real’ books”.

    Thanks for sharing your perspective as a publishing professional.

  • Edunderwood

    Here’s affirmation from a man I disciple who is a partner in a huge SoCal apple store:

    yep a fair assessment of the “Why iPad did not devastate Kindle”

    Add to that…
    Move to #1 spot…… single-tasking aspect of Kindle.
    #2 superior Book buying experience.
    #3 More features focused on reading… dictionary, ratings, highlighting (accessing, sharing, and crowd sourcing) wikipedia, text to speech, battery life, screen quality, size, weight, etc. (see #1 above)
    #4 CEO mindset/mission statement
    “…people don’t read anymore” S.Jobs
    “…every book, in every language, in 30 seconds or less” J.Bezos

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I think the CEO mindset is huge. I wish I would have thought of that. Brilliant!

  • http://blog.cyberquill.com Cyberquill

    Size matters, too. The Kindle is a lot smaller, lighter, and hence more amenable to being carried around without the need for a bag.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      This is definitely true.

      • http://blog.cyberquill.com Cyberquill

        What I would really love is a pocket-sized Kindle+iPod hybrid.

  • Nathan Anderson

    Focus-focus-focus. I’ve heard that creative people have a sort of ADD – can’t stay focused on one thing too long because there are too many ideas floating around in their heads. My book is almost published, now I have to FOCUS on the next steps of marketing & sales before I flit off to my next idea.

  • http://www.brotherpreacher.com John Richards

    My wife and I decided to go with Kindles. Agree with #2. Even makes it available on our blackberry devices. A pretty cool on-the-go feature.

    We’re both in seminary, so we feel your pain on some on the theology books we often read. But, when it comes to commentaries we’re still a bit old fashioned there and want hard copies.

    With a six month old, the Kindle is so much more bottle-feeding/nurse friendly. We couldn’t imagine holding an iPad in one hand while trying to feed the little one. This was a no brainer for us. Good piece. Thanks for this.

  • Craig

    You point out several things Amazon got right. The cloud computing feature is a good one. Devices are becoming less and less an issue as both the creation AND the control of the content become part of cloud computing. Amazon has positioned themselves to play a gate keeper role. They may lack the glamour of Apple or Google but they’ve shown themselves nimble…

  • http://twitter.com/MattBeard Matt Beard

    The Kindle is definitely on my radar now after my fiancee’s sister got one for Christmas. Don’t know when I’ll make the plunge because I still like having book in hand but when I do I’ll choose the Kindle hands down for the reasons you listed.

  • http://www.bretmavrich.com Bret Mavrich

    For what it’s worth, someone got me a gift card for Christmas to Best Buy (because they were out of Kindles). As of today, BB is out of stock in the entire Pittsburgh area. They don’t even know when the next shipment will be. Looks like something’s going right. (My Dad let me geek out with him over his new Kindle–my mom snagged the last one from Staples, apparently).

    Say, Mike, do you find you much use the 3G connect on your Kindle? Should I upgrade from the basic?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I do use the 3G on-the-go—airports, mostly, or places where I don’t have access to WiFi.

  • http://stanleymarkowski.com Stanley Markowsk

    On point number two, for myself and my group of friends, the main selling point is the availability of theology books. My friends and I are in our early twenties and most of us have gone to bible college/ seminary and work in ministry.

    Most of us can’t afford to buy a lot of theology books because they are usually pretty expensive for various reasons. However the kindle has most of the classic theological literature for free or under five dollars. I know for me, by purchasing the works of luther for 5 dollars on kindle, I already saved enough money to justify the purchase.

  • A Brown

    A few thoughts on this:

    1. Isn’t your No. 4 argument a personality issue that may or may not apply to other people. Just because one person doesn’t have the discipline to focus, doesn’t mean that everyone has that same issue.

    2. I’m surprised publishers like Thomas Nelson haven’t created deals to offer bundled Kindles (or Nooks) for that matter. Buy a Kindle with all of Mr. Lucado’s books or a package like that. I know that would have to go through the Amazon court of appeals to get it done.

    3. Amazon could make the Kindle ubiquitous by just offering a book club type deal. Get a free Kindle if you agree to buy so many books over a period of two years.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for your comments. Yes, #4 is definitely a personality issue. It would only apply to those who are easily distracted—like me. With regard to bundles, I think you will see a lot of that this year. However, it is in the etailers court to implement. A book club is a terrific idea.

      Thanks again.

  • A Brown

    A few thoughts on this:

    1. Isn’t your No. 4 argument a personality issue that may or may not apply to other people. Just because one person doesn’t have the discipline to focus, doesn’t mean that everyone has that same issue.

    2. I’m surprised publishers like Thomas Nelson haven’t created deals to offer bundled Kindles (or Nooks) for that matter. Buy a Kindle with all of Mr. Lucado’s books or a package like that. I know that would have to go through the Amazon court of appeals to get it done.

    3. Amazon could make the Kindle ubiquitous by just offering a book club type deal. Get a free Kindle if you agree to buy so many books over a period of two years.

  • http://www.bigb94.webs.com Brandon

    Woah! Just got to say, Michael- that having almost 150 comments is amazing! In less than one day!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Posts about technology always seems to generate high traffic and engagement. Thanks for your participation!

  • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

    Great review of the Kindle app, Mike. I use the software on multiple devices and the Whispersync is awesome. As far as hardware goes, I think you can compare the Kindle -iPad scenario to cell phones. Some people just like a simple phone to make phone calls. Other like a full featured smart phone. There is a huge market for both. I think two things will probably/should happen in 2011. The Kindle will drop to $99 and the iPad will get a camera and memory slot. If these things happen, the market for each will continue to grow.

  • http://www.kathink.blogspot.com Kathleen T. Jaeger

    I just finished reading Chasing Daylight based on a recommendation in one of your posts. This idea that the iPad is not killing the Kindle is akin to what I read and resonated with in one of his chapters. Gene Kelly after he was diagnosed with cancer and had resigned from his multi-tasking CEO position, no longer wanted a complicated phone. He wanted a phone that was a phone and not also a camera, etc… he wanted a phone that was only a phone and not also a camera, … He wanted it simpler. He thought he was onto an idea that business need to embrace this “less is more” idea. I resonate with that. And this seems to be an example of supporting that concept.

  • http://ramblingteacher.blogspot.com Ziad

    An often overlooked aspect of mobile devices is that back lit screens interfere with many people’s sleep. No reading on the iPad in bed ==> need an eReader like Kindle.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/zdlbooks Billy Meyers

    How does point two lead to selling more devices? If I can already read Kindle books on my computer, iPhone, iPad, etc, why buy the Kindle?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      You don’t need to. However, I find with the dedicated device, it is optimized for reading and has fewer distractions. Plus I know that I am not locked into that device. I can read on whatever device I have available at the moment.

      • http://www.facebook.com/zdlbooks Billy Meyers

        Ok, I guess I thought the purpose of the post was to show how Amazon succeeded in selling Kindles when there were “better” devices out there with more features/bells and whistles. 1 and 4 support that, but 2 and 3 don’t (since the Kindle app can be used on other devices). I don’t own a Kindle, but I do use the Kindle app on my iPod Touch. The Kindle has a good ROI if you are an avid reader – as long new books stay at $9.99, the device pays for itself after around 25-30 books. But if publishers raise the prices of Kindle books, can Amazon still sell the device?

  • Andy Wittwer

    Michael – I’m curious how you feel about sharing digital books. Once a physical book is owned, it can be sold or traded a number of ways, or better yet passed on. I can understand a digital book not having resale value, but to me a huge drawback of the digital book is the inability to share it once done.
    How does it look to you as a publishing house?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I don’t like sharing, especially given the fact that they are so much cheaper than physical books. It deprives the author and the publisher of revenue. It’s like “sharing” any other intellectual property—software, music, etc. Thanks.

  • http://passionsforthesoul.typepad.com/vicki Vicki Small

    “But one thing is certain: Apple has the most limited selection of all. Fortunately, you can use the Kindle app on the iPad.”

    Great comment! :) Subtle, perhaps, but I love it!

    Our house is home to two readers: my husband and me. Besides the fact that not even $140 for the most basic Kindle can yet be justified, I just can’t envision curling up with a good…Kindle, or any other electronic reader. I swear I would go nuts before I would quit trying to turn the pages!

    If we did more traveling, we might justify it, so maybe some day….

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  • http://twitter.com/21tigermike Michael A. Robson

    @The iPad is software, Kindle is software. They don’t really compete. Apple and Amazon will both make tons of money selling different things.

  • http://onstagetechnologies.com Scott Kantner

    The applicable lesson from Amazon’s Kindle is to stay focused- do one thing Really Well. The Kindle is designed to solve a single problem, and it doesn’t try to be anything else. That’s why it remains viable, and a point that was perhaps lost on the NYT.

  • http://www.liveonpurposecoach.com Dwright

    Thank you so much for your observations regarding two great products. I have had my Kindle for over two years and I regard it as one of my top purchases. I like many others thought that the Ipad might really hurt Kindle after I saw how beautiful the graphics are, etc.

    However, my biggest takeaway from your key points is the power of FOCUS. It is critical in whatever we do. Kindle is not trying to be all things to all people. They own their segment of the book market.
    From a spiritual perspective, I thought about the importance of staying the course especially when you have received clear direction from God-Stay FOCUSED!!
    Thank you again!

  • http://twitter.com/dlibbon dlibbon

    Great post, I’ve got both and plan on keeping my kindle. The fact that it syncs between my phone, ipad, computer, and kindle make it amazing in my book. (I guess I should say “my ebook”)

  • Caleb Land

    I’m shocked not to see my biggest reason for loving Kindle on here. I’m a reader and I love books…the actual experience of reading a real book. I would never read a book on a back-lit computer screen. The digital ink on kindle makes it a far superior reading experience than reading on an ipad.

  • http://davidsantistevan.com/ David Santistevan

    I am loving my Kindle. You were my biggest influence in making the purchase. Thanks for the thorough reviews. I still think Amazon should steer way from too many bells and whistles on the Kindle. I think its simplicity is its strength. The elements in the “experimental” section don’t mean much to me, but it could also be because I’m still getting used to it.

  • http://www.marketinginprogress.com Brett Duncan

    I have neither an iPad nor a Kindle. I’ve held on a Kindle with the idea of eventually using that money toward an iPad. So this post is an interesting one.

    I get the need for distraction-reading. However, I’m not sure I want to get another device for it. This info helps; I was wondering why anyone would have an iPad AND a Kindle. I think I’ll still wait for the iPad, though.


  • http://www.inteliwise.com VirtualAgent

    I’ve always been obssessed on getting an iPad one of these days, but now that you’ve put up this post, I’m seriously reconsidering it. Hmmm, I might get a Kindle. And it being cheaper definitely helps in the decision making.

  • Sell House Fast

    Tried reading on the Ipad. To be honest, the screen’s crap for it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good for other things, but for e-books, still prefer the kindle.

  • Sjohnston

    I have yet to purchase a Kindle, but your points communicate to me that folks still like the simpler side of things. The Kindle is certainly intriguing technology.

  • http://www.carlestercrumpler.com/ Carlester T. Crumpler

    Just as Andy Stanley’s one point messages are extremely effective… the Kindle’s singular focus allows me to Just Read Baby! When we decide to go deep, not wide, the results are often more effective and fulfilling. Therefore, I love my Kindle. If I want to fulfill my information consuming desires… out comes the iPad. Great post Michael!

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  • Anonymous

    I’m relatively new to Kindle and until I read your post, I had no idea I could Tweet from my Kindle! My fondness for my Kindle continues to grow. I did make the mistake of downloading “Every Word” and *that* app will have to go. It’s far too addicting and distracting. I’ll stick with the pile of free e-books I’ve already downloaded. I also put the novel I just wrote onto my Kindle (so I have no excuse not to be reading/proofing/editing, etc.

    Amazon’s focus is something I’d like to emulate in my own life – identifying what I want to be good at and sticking with it, rather than letting myself get distracted by all of the things that others are good at.

    • Anonymous

      (I should clarify – I learned about the Twitter feature via the comments section)

  • Jeff Jones

    I always wonder how the VCR/Betamax battle will play out in new devices. I loved my Betamax. Great quality, smaller tapes, but they didn’t share the technology and VCR won the war. Apple gives us so many great features that it continues to stand apart and now the singularly focused Kindle, while usable on multiple platforms, continues to swing away. I do think the two devices are targeted at two somewhat distinct crowds so they will continue to appeal to their core markets with some overlap.
    If I’m going to haul a device around, I’ll take the iPad with much more than just a reader while understanding the joy often found in simplicity.

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  • http://theusefulword.wordpress.com Chris Heck

    Amazon has simply applied the 4 p’s of marketing – product, price, place, and promotion. Granted, they have applied them and executed very well.

    I think one of the biggest factors is Amazon’s willingness to support multiple platforms/devices. They realized that for them, the hardware/device isn’t the hill they are willing to die on. It’s all about the access to the inventory and distribution method.

  • Kevin Thomas

    I was gifted the beautiful Nook Color, upgraded to an awesome Android phone, purchased my sweet Nexus 7, but this past Friday I met a guy in a Starbucks parking lot to purchase a Kindle Keyboard 3g he’d listed on Craigs list.

    I avoided the Kindle with the reasoning it was black/white, antiquated, and couldn’t compete with my other devices.

    I’ve fallen in love with this device more than I expected, to the point of hunting down a good light and case at this moment. Battery life is awesome, keyboard convenient, shopping/downloading quick, and most of all no distractions from reading. I read on my other devices, but become quickly distracted my notifications, calls, and surfing for no reason.

    Great article, so happy I actually have a real Kindle in my possession.