Amazon’s Fire: the hard fight to be the #2

From I

It’s fair to say I’m annoyed at Amazon. I’m bullish about their chances in the market and I (maybe stupidly) believe Bezos has a trick up his sleeve for us second-class citizens (and Prime subscribers) outside the US.

Taking shots at the iPad mini is a dumb move. It will sell squillions anyway. Amazon needs to be looking a lot closer to home for their real target. If someone can be swayed away from the Apple brand then they’re as likely to buy Asus, Samsung or Google in tablet form as they are Amazon*.

But their marketing is all aimed at what Apple considers to be a break-even business. Likely the margins on iTunes probably look good to Amazon (used to 4% margins and having just swallowed a $274M loss) and that’s going to be their bed. The über geeks seem to be flocking to the Nexus 7 and regarding the Kindle ecosystem as an equally walled but less fruitful version of iTunes.

We’re in a renaissance of technology where an advanced tablet device only costs much less than £500 and yet fits in a pocket or bag, communicates with the world and lasts a day on a single charge (which itself costs pennies). Much like the Sinclair Spectrum from 1982, these are devices which will create new types of citizen.

*I used to use this argument with the Mac a decade or so ago. If someone could be persuaded not to buy Windows, then they were ripe for Apple, Sun and whomever was selling Linux PCs at the time. Breaking the incumbent grip was the first step.

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