In the wake of the Kindle Fire, analysts seem to be forming a consensus about the tablet...

In the wake of the Kindle Fire, analysts seem to be forming a consensus about the tablet market's future: Apple (AAPL), with its differentiated hardware, software, and app base, will dominate the high-end, while Amazon (AMZN), with its subsidized pricing and media/services assets, will control the low-end. And everyone else will be out of luck.

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Comments (16)
  • HiSpeed
    , contributor
    Comments (1301) | Send Message
    Especially in a weak economy, specializing on the low-end with its perceived value seems like a wise way to go imo. While the Wifi the AMZM tablet requires is hardly (yet) pervasive, customers will easily adapt and work with it because if its value.


    Without a strategy that caters to entry-level buyers, the market is Apple's to lose.
    29 Sep 2011, 02:51 PM Reply Like
  • haiguike
    , contributor
    Comments (939) | Send Message
    Apple has a stranglehold on its current market share in the U.S. Moving forward with China, try convincing the Chinese to buy a Kindle over an iPad 3. Good luck. I'll leave you with this note: Even though we had a down economy across the world, it did not hurt the sales of BMWs, Maseratis, and other high end automobiles. Apple products have become a luxury social status good, like LV bags, and it crosses all ages and both sexes. The marketing hype for Apple is real and here to stay for at least the next five years or so.
    29 Sep 2011, 04:08 PM Reply Like
  • brewer
    , contributor
    Comments (3035) | Send Message
    No to mention that Apple products sold like crazy gangbusters when the recession hit in 2008.


    WS and clueless tech commentators seem to forget that these devices are not so expensive, most of the loyal userbase is gainfully employed in very stable jobs (Apple is not your typical blue collar choice, however it's gaining there as well) etc…


    So, actually, it's the low end stuff that suffers, because those are the products appealing to the lowest socio-economic strata, and those people are the hardest hit in a bad economy. Basic economics.


    Also, you have a device here where you are not just reading SOME online content. Why have and endlessly capable device for doing all this stuff, and skimp out on a far less capable device. I don't buy that notion. It's another choice now vs iPad, but we have seen all contenders so far fail horribly. If it sells well, it will likely do it only because Amazon is virtually giving it away (not only is it a loss leader by $50 per device, but they are also forgoing Amazon prime fees and other incentives which will cost Amazon. I don't think it's going to affect iPad much. People want apps, iTunes, etc… All the web, Apps, services like Netflix and Youtube navigation, camera, etc… will be either unavailable at all on the Fire or MUCH better on the iPad screen--it's has 4 TIMES the pixels.
    30 Sep 2011, 09:00 AM Reply Like
  • Ferdnerd
    , contributor
    Comments (7) | Send Message
    I agree, in fact I'd take it a step further and say. the Ipad is #1 in the classroom as well, which is how Apple became so successful when i was in grade school
    29 Sep 2011, 07:21 PM Reply Like
  • Mahof55
    , contributor
    Comments (2) | Send Message
    In all the turmoil over tablet, tablet, tablets the last couple years I can't help but think Apple and Amazon got together and planned this action.


    "Hey Amazon, why don't you control the low end items that I am not involved with and I will leave that alone and let me control the high end items and you stay out of that area."
    29 Sep 2011, 11:48 PM Reply Like
  • chrisfr
    , contributor
    Comments (12) | Send Message
    If Amazon manages to do real damage with the Fire, Apple will have only itself to blame--a great company but always a little nasty and grasping around the edges. Trying to extort 30% of all revenue that takes place on iOS can only be self-defeating in the end. While it remains to be seen if the genius of Steven Jobs can be replaced, there is no doubt that his harsher qualities could easily be softened if only new leadership will take the initiative. It is never too early to start cultivating good will, just ask Microsoft, a company that had to learn that lesson the hard way.
    30 Sep 2011, 06:58 AM Reply Like
  • brewer
    , contributor
    Comments (3035) | Send Message
    Wow, that is seriously twisted. What do you mean by a little nasty? Grasping around the edges? Extortion? Explain your 'logic' there. How is Apple forcing people to develop for them? The reality is they have made quite a few millionaires practically overnight. People who could not make it before. Older developers who had given up. It's been a renaissance of sorts for the software industry.


    Apple's 30% cut is nearly break even on apps. Software publishers took WAY more than that for doing almost nothing. Apple have to manage the store, pay for bandwidth, verify that apps are not spyware, all electronic billing and micro credit charges, distribution, etc... They handle everything for the developer!


    Secondly, MSFT… are we talking about the same company here? When do you THINK they learned how to cultivate good will? You are really cracking me up with that one.
    30 Sep 2011, 09:15 AM Reply Like
  • chrisfr
    , contributor
    Comments (12) | Send Message
    Brewer, you must have accidentally replied to the wrong comment. I reread my post and could not find any reference to "Apple forcing people to develop for them."


    As for Apple's 30% cut on apps, I have no problem with that, just as you have no problem reading what I actually wrote. I'll leave it as an exercise for you to find your fault; please let me know if you need help.


    And as for Microsoft, I'd say they learned to cultivate a certain measure of goodwill sometime between when the former juggernaut weaseled its way out of its antitrust difficulties and now, between when it unethically and illegally attempted to crush nearly any competitor big enough to make it onto its radar, and today when it knocks at others' doors hat in hand hoping to find a partner. But I guess you were paying the same attention back then that you seem to pay things now.


    Apple is a great company but if you've watched them over the past decade then you'd recall more than a few moments where they behaved in less than honorable fashion.


    In can say that you were right to place the word "logic" in quotation marks because I did not use any logic but mere assertion. It would be like me calling you a "nazi," "Buddhist," or "communist" (but not fool).
    30 Sep 2011, 01:37 PM Reply Like
  • brewer
    , contributor
    Comments (3035) | Send Message
    You said they were extorting others 30%, now you say you have no problem with it. That's odd. Again, who are they forcing to develop for them? You make no sense. What do you think 'extortion' means?


    Your ridiculous apology on behalf of MSFT is amusing. They have not changed in the slightest.


    Again, what are the 'moments' where YOU THINK Apple behaved in a 'less than honorable' fashion? Or just throw around vague accusations, whatever.


    You are right, you didn't use logic. Surely you are capable of it, if you get over your issues someday.
    30 Sep 2011, 02:20 PM Reply Like
  • chrisfr
    , contributor
    Comments (12) | Send Message
    Ah, I see you are in need of a remedial reading class. So much that we could run through but I fear you will just pile error upon error. Let's try anyway:


    1) Show me where I said that Apple forces people to develop for them?


    2) I did say that Apple extorts others 30% and I did say that I had no problem with them charging developers 30%. Now buckle yourself in because I'm about to draw some distinctions; your head might hurt in the morning, but with practice you might even be able to try this yourself someday. To get a paid app put on the App Store is worth something and 30% works well for many. But in-app subscriptions also get hit with the 30%. Publishers have not exactly been beating down the doors to get in, which is not surprising when their average gross profit margin is only 12%. Same story with digital content like Kindle books. I stand by my use of the word 'extort' as these prices are clearly considered extortionate, or "(of a price) much too high." I can see how, not having the common facts and no particular ability to read the printed word, you find this "odd" and making "no sense."


    3) So, Microsoft have not changed in the slightest in over a decade? Such sloppiness in writing is what I find amusing, although I am willing to entertain the notion that this comes down to pure ignorance on your part.


    4) So you want some moments where Apple have behaved shabbily? How about when they sent a cease-and-desist letter to a third-grade girl who wrote a letter suggesting some product ideas to make the iPods better? How about announcing features (ZFS, AirPort Disk backup) and then silently pulling them without a word of explanation and no comment on their status? So, here are a couple of examples. Now let's stick to them and you show me why they really show how Apple never makes a misstep.


    5) I had to laugh at how you still don't know what the word "logic" means, and consequently have no idea how to use it.
    1 Oct 2011, 09:12 AM Reply Like
  • brewer
    , contributor
    Comments (3035) | Send Message
    Go develop for some other platform, or sell content on some other platform---it's not extortion. Heck, you can read your AMAZON books on iPad. They are not blackmailing anyone, if you don't like the terms, don't sign up.


    Much of what Microsoft does is based on extortion, really. They actively seek to block anyone not using their products. Embrace and extend is a great example of this.


    You have to laugh as you have no idea what you are talking about and have clearly lost whatever mind you ever had.


    So sorry to see that MSFT is failing. Maybe there is time to remove your head though. Or find a job working somewhere else.
    3 Oct 2011, 11:20 AM Reply Like
  • sscutchen
    , contributor
    Comments (248) | Send Message
    Like many analysts are realizing, the iPad and the Fire are not direct competitors. There will be folks that decide that what they really need is a Kindle Fire, and they don't need an iPad;just like folks do now with the Kindle. And there will be more of those because of the Kindle's media and web capabilities. But the Fire is no potential laptop substitute.


    It's Google that should be the most fearful. Amazon has absconded with the family jewels.


    Apple sells devices and hopes you'll use them to do stuff. So they encourage developers to make stuff to do. Some of that is media, and in that window they compete with Amazon just like they did with the e-ink Kindle. But the Fire is not going to compete with iPad as a pseudo-laptop.


    Amazon sells stuff and hopes you'll use their devices that are aimed at their stuff. The Fire is at it's heart a modern Sears catalog, with the capability for instant gratification. It is a well designed device that enhances Amazon's current businesses, and they can afford to even lose money on the sale of each one.


    So Apple is relatively unaffected. Amazon wins big...


    The real loser here is Google.


    Google sells eyeballs. Their customers sell their own stuff to us, and Google makes money when they put their customers in front of us. So Google does like the TV networks, they give stuff away as bait for eyeballs. Android is one of those things they give away.


    They do this with Android in exchange for placing all of their eyeball-generating software in front of the device-using public (as opposed to the PC-using public. They already own that space, but it is devices that are growing so fast.) Google search, mail, maps, the Android Marketplace...


    Except that Amazon is not interested in using the Fire for that. They took Android, alright, the latest free version (2.3). They built their own environment sans Google. They have forked Android and are using it basically as a BIOS, or underlying OS, on top of which is Amazon's stuff. Nary a peek at Google software. And, just as importantly, they have developed their own Android marketplace so that they don't have to go to Google even for that.


    Amazon has taken Google's dowery without even the promise of a date, much less marriage.
    30 Sep 2011, 07:46 AM Reply Like
  • SkepticL
    , contributor
    Comments (709) | Send Message
    Great comment capped by a super last line! In other words, Amazon and Google go out on a date, Google gets humped in the back seat and Amazon says, "Of course I'll respect you in the morning!"
    1 Oct 2011, 07:54 AM Reply Like
  • brewer
    , contributor
    Comments (3035) | Send Message
    My comment is you will have to take the Fire Hype machine on faith. There is no way you can just assume that an unreleased device is going to sell. The first Kindles have not sold well at all. If Apple had a device with the Kindle's numbers, they would be written off as a total failure, about to go out of business. With Amazon, everyone somehow assumes a new device replacing one that didn't sell well is going to dominate. When the iPad itself came out, it was universally panned by the media, especially the financial media.
    30 Sep 2011, 08:53 AM Reply Like
    , contributor
    Comments (33) | Send Message
    I can't stand the Apple worship. Without Flash the Ipad is useless for many functions. To think that no one else can ever make a product to compete with Apple is idiotic. I have an Iphone and an Ipad and I can't wait to get rid of them. My experience at the Apple store was horrible. Their attitude is if you have any complaint of any kind about any Apple product that you are a fool. I predict a year from now Apple will lose market share, market price, and the media will go on to worship some other company. Me I hate Apple, except I wish I would have bought the stock ten years ago.
    30 Sep 2011, 11:16 AM Reply Like
  • SkepticL
    , contributor
    Comments (709) | Send Message
    Thanks for your unbiased comment. That's quite a grudge. Did they catch you shoplifting or something?
    1 Oct 2011, 07:59 AM Reply Like
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