In quite a few ways, Apple's iPad and iBooks announcement today was a shot across the bow of Amazon's Kindle. Sure, Apple played nice, even saying that Amazon has done a "great job of pioneering" the e-book space, but you can't help but think that Apple thinks of itself as the evolution of the Kindle, not mere competition. Steve Jobs says that Apple is going to "stand on their shoulders," and that doesn't sound quite as benign as perhaps he meant it. So, how do the devices stack up, specifically as book consuming devices? Well, for starters, one of these things costs a whole lot more than the other... let's break it down after the break.
|Upfront cost||$499 / $629 (3G)||$259||$489|
|Screen resolution||1024 x 768||600 x 800||1200 x 824|
|Pixel density||132 ppi||167 ppi||150 ppi|
|Screen type||Color IPS LCD||16-level gray E Ink||16-level gray E Ink|
|Kindle books||Yes (Kindle app)||Yes||Yes|
|3G service cost||N/A / $15 / $30||Free||Free|
|3G networks||GSM / HSDPA (US)||EV-DO + HSDPA (World)||EV-DO + HSDPA (World)|
|Weight||1.5 pound||0.6 pound||1.2 pound|
|Battery||10 hours||1 week||1 week|
Update: As Daniel P. pointed out to us, the iPad, like the iPhone 3GS, has VoiceOver screen reading technology. It might not work as slickly in iBooks as Kindle's text-to-speech functionality, but hopefully it still get the job done. We updated the chart accordingly.