I’ve been saying this for awhile now, comic books on the Apple iPad are a massive opportunity. The large color screen is perfect for this kind of content. I would even argue that it’s a big strategic advantage the iPad has over the Amazon Kindle. The Kindle is the perfect device for black and white books with it’s superior e-ink display but when it comes to content like comics or color magazines, the iPad can do things the Kindle can only dream of. As a comic book lover, I’m pretty excited about the possibility of comics on the iPad and I would seriously consider getting one if for no other reason than to read comics.
There are indications now that Amazon may try to make a new Kindle with color and multi-touch technology, bringing it much closer to an iPad. I think it’s very dangerous for Amazon to rush headlong into a competition with Apple on their own turf. Maybe the smart play is to remain the dominant player in black and white e-ink technology and let Apple have the rest. Amazon’s strength has always been traditional black and white books, not magazines or comics. Here’s an even smarter play, make a full iPad version of the Kindle reader. Amazon needs to remember their focus, they are a bookstore not a hardware manufacturer. By making a great Kindle reader for the iPad, they stand to sell more books from their online bookstore, even possibly cutting into Apple’s store.
2010 will be THE year of the tablet computer as Sony has also said they want to enter this market. No doubt there will be others. 2010 could also be THE year traditional publishing makes the turn to digital distribution. People have been predicting the death of traditional publishing for years now. These new tablet machines go a long way to bringing that prediction to pass.