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Will it or won't it? Since Apple announced the iPad in January, people have been debating whether it will be much of a threat to Amazon's Kindle e-reader. It offers far more than a simple e-reader, but it's also twice the price. Some have called it a Kindle killer, but as we approach the Saturday launch that sentiment seems to be shifting.

  • You Can't Compete By Charging More  There is at least one major difficulty to overcome at launch, writes Silicon Alley Insider's Dan Frommer. Amazon sells New York Times bestsellers at $9.99. If recent videos of the iPad posted on Apple's Web site are any indication, Apple will be selling the same books at higher prices (although the videos may be old and represent prices from a different incarnation of Apple's book store). "It's possible this will help Amazon's Kindle iPad app build market share versus Apple's store," Frommer says.
  • Apple Should Embrace Color and Animations  David Nussbaum the chief of publisher F+W Media, weighs in at at Folio: (which covers the magazine publishing industry.) He proclaims his company's platform agnosticism while lamenting one technical issue that may hurt the iPad in its battle against the Kindle, at least at launch:
It's a bit surprising that the first edition of the iPad is only accepting epub files, which means no illustrated books in the first ibook store. To me, that seems to play into Amazon's hands, as the main difference between the Kindle and iPad, from a book perspective, is black and white versus color. Moving images, versus static.

  • Analysts Are Bullish. Analysts seem to be pretty positive about Amazon's prospects in light of the forthcoming iPad. Over at The Wall Street Journal's All Things Digital, Peter Kafka reports that by the time the iPad and other e-readers are done eating at the Kindle's dominant marketshare, Amazon CEO "Jeff Bezos and company will end up with something like 30 percent of digital book business, says JP Morgan analyst Imran Khan." But, that's okay for Khan, as Kafka reports: "he figures that a smaller chunk of a much larger market will eventually generate $1 billion in incremental revenue for the e-commerce giant." Kafka agrees. And so does Citi analyst Mark Mahaney, writes Silicon Alley Insider's Jay Yarow. Mahaney also says a recent poll that found consumers are just as interested in the iPad as they are in the Kindle serves as a reminder that people still like the Kindle and view the iPad as offering something different from the Kindle. And, of course, Mahaney notes, the Kindle is essentially half the price of the iPad.

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