iPad or Kindle? Items for a real “wish” list

For the last few weeks there has been a small conversation going on about what some of us would really like as our latest gadget.  The iPad and the Kindle were the ones which came up among this small group of women based here in Accra.  Yet none of us has really interacted with either of these new items, but we still want them.  And two of us are young, and yours truly is not so young.  So I don’t think it is totally a generational thing.

Maybe I should go and look in the Apple store in the Accra Mall, and ask whether they have an iPad – just to look at, and maybe touch?  Of course, realistically it is probably not a good idea to get one here in Ghana just yet, as there are issues about accessing all sorts of stuff from here, but then if iPhones work and their apps work here, why not?  Another key factor to consider is cost, as the iPad is not cheap, and here in Ghana it would be even more expensive.  There is also a matter of dust to be considered, and hard concrete floors. And to be frank, what would I really, really, really do with one?  Apart from showing off, that is?

Now a Kindle is something else:  not so flashy, and pretty discrete looking, and it has been on my wish list for more than a few months.  And I keep going to the Amazon website and seeing the horribly depressing message “We are not able to ship this item to your default shipping address” but then there is another one on the same page – well, with a little following of some links, which says “We are excited to now ship Kindle to Ghana. Customers in Ghana will enjoy:..’  and it goes on.   So what should I believe?

I wish I trusted Ghana Post a bit more, and then I might take the risk and try to buy one and send it to myself. I suspect however that I will take the more precautionary approach, and see if I can buy it in the US, and bring it back with me.   After all, I gather there are oodles of freebies just waiting to be downloaded, even if it is not quite the one-step process it is in the US!

Am I being a bit conservative?  Yes, probably.  But why not?

And after all, I hear there is a project which is testing the use of Kindles in Ghanaian schools, and one of the people involved even came by where I work.

Now, what would be nice is a project using Kindles in higher education in an African setting… but maybe that is too much wishful thinking?

7 thoughts on “iPad or Kindle? Items for a real “wish” list

  1. they do have the ipad at the ishop and as usual it’s overpriced. i think getting the ipad would be great. you would do more than just showing it of. the apps are great & will change the way you do things. i have seen and touched one but haven’t tried the apps but looking at what apple did with the iphone and ipod touch and the reviews on the apps, they did yet another great job.
    as a book lover, the ibooks app will impress you.
    accessing all sort of stuff? as in apps? well, we still don’t have an itunes store for ghana but there’s a work around. buy an itunes store voucher from the usa, set up an account and voila. access to both paid and free apps.
    what makes a device a great device is the software and the ipad delivers that 🙂

    • Thanks for the response. I sort of figured the Apple Store might have an iPad when I saw one of their ads in one of the papers… Somethings else to do on Saturday in between visits to Shoprite, Game and Silverbird!

  2. Pingback: 2010 in review for Accra books and things « Accra books and things

  3. Yes I think higher education is perfect for e-readers, especially for science/literature students and post-grads who need to read a lot of pdfs. (I was in Accra last year, and Freetown this year, where my e-reader was a bigger hit than my phone or laptop.)

    There would be a clear cost-saving over quite a short time, as up-to-date text books are so expensive. It’s also possible to do e-mail on some e-readers if you’re clever, and read word docs and pdfs – great for Ghanaians who can’t afford to spend a long time in an internet cafe – just go online, download everything, and read/reply at leisure!

    I’d love to work with someone to deliver good e-readers at reasonable prices to Ghana – how do we start?

    (I’ve already contacted Aluratek and I’m willing to contact Amazon.)


  4. I am currently in the States but will be moving to Ghana in a couple of months. I’ll be living about a half hour north of Cape Coast in a smallish town. I have been wondering if the internet speed would be an issue downloading apps or other things. If the download is taking too long, does it time out? Also, doesn’t it take forever and a day to download and end up costing a small fortune?

    • Many of us access the internet in Ghana via small wifi dongles, which you can buy from the local mobile/cell phone operators once you get to Ghana. Your choice will depend on where you live, and what reception is like – MTN, Airtel, Vodafone seem to be the better ones, but getting a decent – for Ghana – download speed will depend on whether there is 3G. You pay an initial amount, and then a monthly charge – depending on how much downloads you want. Done with scratch cards which are available everywhere. However, you could go to Cape Coast or other towns, and at least some of the time you would get 3G. Many of us download books for Kindle via our pcs and then transfer them onto the Kindle. Hope this helps.

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