2011-04-04

Amazon as a competitor to Google and Apple

Amazon seems to become a competitor for both Google and Apple. Recently, it has taken the following two steps:
  • It created its own app store for Android. [1]
  • It created an online storage service that streams music to mobile and other devices. [2]
These feel like slow and deliberate steps towards Android-based mobile devices. Amazon’s strengths are as follows:
  • Compared to Google: much more focused, good at selling things, has more content readily available, many accounts with payment information already exist.
  • Compared to Apple: understands the web (Apple really should have a web-based iTunes store [3]), better at marketing (Amazon’s affiliate experience is much better than Apple’s, the same holds for publishing on the iBookstore [4]).
  • Compared to many hardware companies (excluding Apple): They don’t announce their products months in advance, but wait until they actually have something that works.
Amazon is not as good as Apple at producing quality hardware, but better than most companies. It’s inspiring to see Amazon’s strategy unfold, I’m looking forward to the next chapter.

Related reading:
  1. How Amazon could loosen Google's iron grip on Android
  2. Amazon Cloud Drive: online storage with one new idea
  3. Why the iTunes store should be web-based
  4. Adam Engst on iPad and ereaders. Quote:
    [...] I can't say that working with Amazon has ever been easy for publishers (and we haven't done much with it), but working with the iBookstore has been the most amazingly horrible, opaque, and frustrating experience I've had. Apple's software is terrible, the iTunes Connect Web site is lousy, and support questions often aren't answered for - and I'm not kidding here - months. It's gotten a little better over time, but mostly it makes my stomach hurt.
  5. Touring The Amazon Appstore
  6. Speculation on an Amazon iPad competitor
  7. Amazon Appstore an excellent work in progress ... now about that tablet rumor. Quote (via [6]):
    I don’t know that they’re doing this. But I do know that Amazon has all of the required pieces in place and that they — not Google, not Motorola, not HP, RIM, Samsung, or any other tech company who’s shoved their CEO in front of a press audience in the past year with a shaky tablet prototype and an even shakier list of things he’s allowed to say about it — are clearly in the best position to challenge Apple and the iPad.
  8. Amazon's tablet is coming, but what will it be?
    [...] I am 99% certain they are having Samsung build one for them. [...]

    [...] What version of Android will it run? I think there's an assumption that any Amazon tablet will run Android 3.0, Google's tablet-specific version of the OS. However, given Google's recent moves to tighten how OEMs can use Honeycomb, this might not be so likely. In fact, it's entirely possible that Amazon's tablet, like the NOOK Color, will use Android as a base upon which to build a totally customized experience that tightly integrates Amazon services.
  9. Are Amazon and Apple playing chicken regarding in-app purchasing?
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