Am I missing something about the iPad?

Apple just introduced the new iPad and everyone is comparing it to the Kindle to see how it matches up.  But what I’m not really seeing in the conversation is — for lack of a better term — total cost of use.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Apple. They have a lot — I mean a lot of my business. And I’m sure there will be a market for the iPad, but I don’t get how it stacks up for book lovers. At it’s most basic (Wi-Fi), it’s somewhat cost comparative with the Kindle DX. But if you want equivalent connectivity, you’re paying above and beyond that — up to $30/month. You can buy a lot of books/media for $360 a year. And they’re projecting many of the iPad’s books at $14.99 and up (compared to $9.99 or less for Kindle). That’s good for the publishing houses, and Apple, But it’s sure not good for the book-loving public. Prices just went up 50%.

UPDATE: April 2008. I’m fully admitting I wrote this post in haste. I like the iPad. I want one. But, what inspired this posts was the constant comparisons to the Kindle (which was probably heightened in Seattle’s Amazon-cognizant media). For serious, frequent book readers (all 12 of them), I don’t think it’s as good a device. But it is apparently very good at other things. As I read somewhere, it is a consumption device (not a creation device). And it’s very good at being that. Now I’m thinking I ought to wait for the 4G …

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