Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Kindle? iPad? Wev.

I've had an Amazon Kindle on my "someday" list for the last couple of years. It seems like it would be convenient and very cool, and as a person who always has two or three books going at once, it would be nice to not have to decide which one to grab on the way out the door. With a Kindle I'd be able to grab all three and then some.

Conversely, I have had no interest in an iPad. I have a visceral dislike of all things Apple...too cool, trendy, statementy, showy-offy. I like my technology to be cumbersome, stodgy and lagging-edge...it reflects my personality better.

So imagine my dismay to read that Amazon is feuding with publishers and removing their titles from the list of Kindle selections while Apple is actively courting publishers and attempting to establish a solid foothold in the e-reader business.

Apple is hoping to topple the Kindle from the top spot and establish themselves as an equally viable e-reader option. But you know how it is with technology...they'll never be able to coexist. As a matter of convenience one format eventually becomes the standard and their rivals all fade away. And during this process potential customers like me will sit on our hands (and wallets) and watch the battle to see which format will eventually dominate. Because there's nothing more frustrating than spending $350 for cool new technology that is immediately obsolete.

This is like the Betamax vs. VCR battle, or the thing with the Blu-Ray and whoever. Or Godzilla and Mothra. It's an epic battle for the soul of the consumer (or in the case of Godzilla, the planet). But lately I've been reading about Amazon's ruthless marketing strategy, which incidentally screws the authors and publishers while trying to suck up new customers, and Apple's absurdly overhyped MaxiPad, which is apparently a larger version of an iPhone but with no telephony. I'm stuck once again in the same place I find myself  with regard to the major political parties: I'm a little jaded about both my options.  I feel like Apple and Amazon and their cadre of advertisers are hoping to manipulate and/or swindle me by waving shiny twirling objects in front of my eyes. Instead, I'm inclined to walk away from the whole mess and let them work it out without me.

I guess I'll stick with paper-and-ink books for a couple more years. By then they ought to have it sorted out.

1 comment:

Erika said...

Tough dilemma. What do you know about Barnes & Noble's Nook? It might be the answer?