Amazon CEO: iPad Not for Serious Readers

At the Amazon annual shareholder meeting yesterday, CEO Jeff Bezos said that the Kindle targets “serious readers,” while the iPad targets a broader range of users. Bezos later added that 90 percent of households are not serious reading households. This begs the question, is 10 percent of households a big enough audience for a specialized device to a company as large as Amazon? Also, does this explain why Amazon has declined to state sales numbers for the Kindle?

Amazon still stands to do well — even if they chose to discontinue the Kindle — simply by selling e-books on the iPad Kindle app. Bezos told shareholders that Amazon’s goal is to offer the largest selection with the best prices, and they’ve done well so far. Their current e-bookstore offers a much larger selection than Apple’s iBookstore, and their prices remain competitive. However, let’s not forget that Amazon is number two in music sales behind iTunes, despite offering a larger selection and lower prices.

If Amazon’s goal is to target the serious reader, why not offer a digital download free with the purchase of a physical book? I don’t consider myself a serious reader (after all, I prefer to read on the iPad over the Kindle), but I would love to have the physical book for my collection while also having the option to read it on my iPad without having to buy it twice. Movie studios are already doing this with new movie releases, why not duplicate this feature with e-books?

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