Kobo’s ebook reader trumps even the best Kindle on several fronts. Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac
I just switched from Kindle to Kobo. Why? Amazon. It’s currently extorting publishing house Hachette by delaying orders and refusing to allow pre-orders for certain titles. The exact machinations are secret, but many people agree that Amazon is demanding discounts on ebooks.
I don’t want to see authors forced to get a second job to survive, so I switched. No more Kindle ebooks. I switched to Kobo, which has a great e-ink reader, a deep book catalog, and – most importantly – breakable DRM.
The results are mixed, with ups and downs for both the service and the hardware.
I’m a genuine believer that even if you have an iPad, there’s room for an e-ink Kindle in your life if you love to read. No one is questioning the design or hardware superiority of the iPad, but the truth is, it’s the distinction between a general use device and a specialized device. An iPad may game, check email, play video, and more, but a Kindle is perfectly suited to the one task it’s meant for — reading books — in a way that the iPad never really can be.
It’s hard for me to really get too bent out of shape about Amazon’s newest ad for the Kindle Paperwhite (a fantastic e-reader), showing users trying to read books on the iPad and Kindle in bright outdoor light. The iPad is criticized for the constant glare bouncing off the screen, while the Kindle is praised for being easy-on-the-eyes.
That’s all true. The iPad kind of sucks at outdoor reading compared to the Kindle. But in the dark, it can do so much more.
Iterate, iterate, iterate. That’s the Apple mantra, according to anyone who pays attention: Launch a groundbreaking device that changes the entire market and people will flock to buy your improved version of a category that may have existed already for years. Then, every September, and pretty much every year, you release an incremental update.
Year over year, it doesn’t look like much is happening. But like a glacier carving valleys from mountains, the compound result is amazing.
Except we’re not talking about Apple here. We’re talking about Amazon and the Kindle.