As Apple Steals the Show, 4 Things to Remember About Amazon’s Kindle

9/12/12Follow @curtwoodward

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from a brand they know.

Or, as Pogue puts it, “the Kindle Fire HD models are attractive, confident viewers of movies, TV shows, Web pages and books. They tap into Amazon’s increasingly appealing online world of entertainment and information stores. And above all, they make the Kindle Fire’s industry-leading features-per-dollar ratio even more top-heavy.” That’s Amazon’s bet. We’ll have to wait to see if it’s the right one.

—Amazon’s Tablets are a Different Beast: Industry analyst Horace Dediu of Asymco has a short post that digs into the key takeaway from Bezos’ presentation: That Amazon wants to make money when its customers use tablets, not when they buy them.

That’s the flip side of Apple’s model, which gets its profits on high prices for premium products. And it draws our attention back to the fundamental difference between the companies—Apple and Amazon aren’t competing tablet-makers so much as they are wildly different companies who both sell tablets.

Amazon’s money, when it actually takes a profit, is made on a lifetime of consumer purchases, not a bunch of constantly refreshing product releases. You have to assume that’s the main reason Amazon keeps adding so many free side benefits to the Prime loyalty program without raising the price—it just wants you to buy everything from Amazon, forever, unless you have no other option.

It’s also why, as Bezos said, Amazon is trying to compete on price in tablets. It’s not going to knock the iPad off its throne, and isn’t really trying. Amazon’s tablet strategy is to be the best Android-based tablet before Google/Motorola or Samsung or anyone else can grab too much of that territory. As we said from the beginning, Amazon’s tablet isn’t a computer—it’s a store.

“Using this frame of mind, assessing its ‘threat to another business which charges for the product itself is like assessing whether free t-shirts from trade shows affect the sales of clothing or apparel in general,” Dediu writes. “They do, but mostly the sale of cheap t-shirts. I doubt that people stop buying more functional clothing because they have hundreds of free t-shirts.”

And now, after some of those serious thoughts, here’s a hilarious video that someone cut together of all of the dramatic pauses Bezos made during his presentation last week. It’s almost eight minutes. Of just pauses.

Curt Woodward is a senior editor for Xconomy based in Boston. Email: cwoodward@xconomy.com Follow @curtwoodward

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  • ex-con

    Give it a rest, Curt. The Kindle is overpriced junk that no one wants. iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, iPad, Nook, all beat the Kindle.