Techcrunch has a nice comparison today between the new Kindle DX from Amazon and Apple’s iPad, nicely indicating what most will have already noticed: that the two look rather alike (similar colour options, same screen size etc). The TC post concludes that Amazon are clearly not afraid to mix it up and re-vamp their products to try something new when things aren’t working and, indeed, this seems to be exactly the idea behind the strategy of introducing a significant price cut to avoid attempting to compete with the iPad on price.

This seems pretty smart, since the Kindle could never win that battle (its screen is neither colour, nor touchscreen to name just a couple of inferior qualities compared with the iPad), but Amazon have wisely decided to capitalise on the one front where Apple’s product is weak – price (i.e. the iPad is not cheap by any stretch of the imagination).

Moreover, Kindle’s access to the larger e-book library (Amazon says that they offer ten times more books than the iPad can access), seems to provide it with a respectable chance of outmanoeuvring Apple’s jack-of-all-trades device, by cornering the e-reading niche for itself.

Funnily enough, I can’t help but feel that Amazon’s otherwise not too successful product has benefited massively since the introduction of this bit of competition from Apple’s iPad (and other such forthcoming devices). It just goes to show how the much-feared rival can sometimes actually benefit positively on a product, by forcing it to identify itself better – as is the case here. As a result of Apple’s iPad launch, the Kindle has not only been much more adeptly targeted at a specific (and winnable) corner of the market, but will also potentially benefit from the popularisation of e-reading which the iPad might help to foster.

Dejan Levi