Steve Jobs’ MacBook Air unveiling has met with mixed responses - from those who think it’s the best thing ever (and would have thought that about practically anything Steve Jobs had unveiled) to those who don’t quite see the point (me included).

Yes it’s an amazing piece of engineering, and shows the massive clout Apple have within the industry when they can persuade Intel to go back to the drawing board to redesign their Core 2 chips, but to me it seems like there are too many other compromises to make the Air seem a wise purchase at this time - unless you really need to send a laptop through the post in as thin an envelope as possible.

Following his Keynote presentation, Steve Jobs has been offering his views on some of the competitors products, including the new Amazon Kindle.

The Kindle is to books what the iPod is to music - or so Amazon hope.

Steve isn’t so sure, and predicts that the electronic book reader will flop sooner rather than later if his quotes are anything to go by.

“It doesn’t matter how good or bad the product is, the fact is that people don’t read anymore. Forty percent of the people in the U.S. read one book or less last year. The whole conception is flawed at the top because people don’t read anymore.” Steve Jobs

Does he really mean this or is it a case of sour grapes? Is he a bit peeved that a company other than his own has come up with a new piece of hardware that has grabbed a few headlines lately?

Personally, I used to own a personal stereo which was okay at the time but grew cumbersome.  This was later superceded by a personal CD player but this was bulky and little used.  Following that I simply didn’t listen to music when on the move and to be honest didn’t feel the need to - but the iPod changed all that.  Now if I am out for a walk I like to have my headphones on, catching up on podcasts or listening to music.

So if the iPod can change my listening habits is it fair for Jobs to assume that just because Americans haven’t read very many books in the past year that the introduction of the Kindle can’t turn this around?

In the same way that Jobs would no doubt have listed the annual number of albums sold as a reason for the introduction of the iPod, I’m sure Amazon know a thing or two about the sales figures for books in America and around the world and will have thought long and hard before leaping into production.

Music has always been seen to be a bit more exciting than books, so it may be that Jobs is right enough and the idea simply won’t take off but I think it’s good that Amazon are giving it a shot - I also think it’s important that people do get back to reading a bit more, rather than listening to audio books on our iPods as I’m sure Steve would prefer!

Whether Steve Jobs’ comments have been taken out of context I don’t know, but to me he sounds a bit miffed.