Amazon determined to continue its assault on Apple or something

“With many investors (including yours truly) ready to proclaim retail and technology giant Amazon as the No. 1 contender to Apple, this makes its upcoming earnings announcement on Tuesday all the more interesting,” Cameron Kaine writes for Seeking Alpha. “Just as in sports where rivalries tend to bring storylines of both teams inside the lines of play on the field – or ‘the story within the story,’ the same can be said for these two technology bellwethers.”

“For a company such as Amazon, which revolutionized the antiquated idea of big-box retail, survived the bubble and placed a capital ‘E’ in ecommerce, I continue to get the sense that it is not getting the respect that it deserves – and I would venture to say that Apple’s success has had a lot to do with this,” Kaine writes. “Last November the company launched an assault on Apple’s tablet reign with the unveiling of its Kindle Fire to rave reviews.”

MacDailyNews Take: Okay, we can get past someone writing “ecommerce” with a lower case “e” after saying that Amazon put the “capital ‘E'” in the word, but Kindle Fire was unveiled to “rave reviews?” Puleeze:
Tablet display shootout: Apple iPad ‘excellent,’ Amazon Kindle Fire ‘major flaws’ – December 20, 2011
‘Kindle Fire: The Missing Manual’ author to return Kindle Fire, keep his ‘years ahead’ Apple iPad 2 – December 15, 2011
Amazon’s tiny screen Kindle Fire’s big security problem – December 14, 2011
Lack of parental controls on Amazon’s tiny screen Kindle Fire lets kids charge up a storm – December 12, 2011
Disgruntled early adopters of Amazon’s tiny screen Kindle Fire have slew of complaints – December 12, 2011
Usability expert Jakob Nielsen tests Amazon’s tiny screen Kindle Fire: ‘A disappointingly poor user experience’ – December 5, 2011
Instapaper creator reviews Amazon’s tiny screen Kindle Fire: Bad game player, bad app platform, bad web browser, bad video player and bad Kindle – November 18, 2011
PCWorld reviews Amazon’s tiny-screen Kindle Fire: Flawed, unimpressive, subpar; can’t hold a candle to iPad – November 16, 2011
Mossberg reviews Amazon’s tiny-screen Kindle Fire: Frustrating, clunky, much less capable and versatile than iPad – November 16, 2011
Apple iPad 2 vs. Amazon Kindle Fire: Bootup, browsing, and Netflix streaming (with video) – November 16, 2011
Wired reviews Amazon’s tiny-screen Kindle Fire: Web browsing sucks, emotionally draining, makes reading a chore – November 14, 2011
NY Times’ Pogue reviews Amazon’s tiny-screen Kindle Fire: Sluggish, ornery, unpolished – November 14, 2011
The Verge reviews Amazon’s tiny-screen Kindle Fire: Uninspired, confusing, incredibly unoriginal – November 14, 2011
Engadget reviews Amazon’s tiny-screen Kindle Fire: Sluggish, clunky, too limiting and restricted – November 14, 2011

Just to make sure there’s no confusion whatsoever, these are what rave reviews look like, Cam:

PC Magazine reviews Apple iOS 5: The best phone and tablet OS, Editors’ Choice – October 15, 2011
The Guardian reviews Apple iPad 2: Ahead of the pack – March 25, 2011
The Telegraph reviews Apple iPad 2: Does everything better; now’s the perfect time to join the iPad club – March 25, 2011
Computerworld reviews Apple’s iPad 2: ‘The Holy Grail of computing’ – March 16, 2011
Ars Technica reviews Apple iPad 2: Big performance gains in a slimmer package
Associated Press reviews Apple iPad 2: Apple pulls further ahead – March 10, 2011
PC Mag reviews Apple iPad 2: The tablet to get; Editors’ Choice – March 10, 2011
Associated Press reviews Apple iPad 2: Apple pulls further ahead – March 10, 2011
Pogue reviews Apple iPad 2: Thinner, lighter, and faster transforms the experience – March 10, 2011
Baig reviews Apple iPad 2: Second to none – March 10, 2011

Kaine writes, “It was an instant success and was termed the ‘iPad killer’ – much to the dismay of Apple investors.”

Complete ridiculousness – Think Before You Click™here.

MacDailyNews Take: Elevating Amazon to the level of an equal with Apple is a joke. Apple could buy Amazon outright, with cash, and still have $15 billion left over. Apple’s market value is rapidly approaching 5 times that of Amazon’s. Five times. Amazon’s net income for calendar Q311 (they don’t report Q4 until tomorrow) was $63 million. Apple’s calendar Q311 net income was $6.62 billion. Apple made 105 times more than Amazon did last calendar Q3. Calendar Q4 will likely be a worse comparison for Amazon as Apple generated an astonishing net profit of $13.06 billion. Apple has reported that they have sold over 55 million iPads to date. Analysts estimate Kindle Fire units sold to date at 4-6 million. With Amazon never reporting Kindle Fire unit sales or – perhaps even more tellingly – the number of Kindle Fire returns, there’s no way anyone could call them Apple’s “No. 1 contender” with a straight face.


    1. I. too, have just barely stopped laughing from the “. . . rave reviews” citation. Find us just one, Mr. Kaine, OK?! I have personally talked half a dozen people out of buying this low-end wannabe, one of whom had already received his and was just waiting for someone to suggest that he send it back. An iPad2 “refub” filled the bill for him, functionally AND economically.

  1. Good call, MDN. I bet even Amazon wouldn’t call the Kindle fire an “assault” on Apple.

    It seems like more of an assault on Android. Since, as I understand – I haven’t seen one, you can’t tell it’s Android.

    1. Exactly.
      Kindle is carpet-bombing every Android tablet OEM which doesn’t have a retail operation to subsidize a break-even hardware device (Kindle/Nook), using a loss-leader service (Amazon Prime), selling merchandise at razor thin margins.

  2. I truly wonder sometimes the logic of some of these “so-called” writers. How can one compare Amazon, a company that is not on the same financial level with Apple and call themselves a serious writer? Please guys, use common sense before you put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard.

    1. Makes it even more impressive, doesn’t it, that Apple’s not even competing in the same market and still kicking Amazon’s arse in it?

      Lordy, I hope no one’s depending on you for survival!

  3. It’s really depressing to see again and again that these clueless tech bloggers will write absolutely anything without the sligtest regard for facts. For that matter, so will the New York Times when they’re in the mood. Their recent hit piece on Apple’s overseas factories is a perfect example. Very depressing.

    1. Yeah, it’s all about running whatever crap they have so they have something to get hits. It’s sad really. Having nothing to say doesn’t stop these guys.

      But just reading that one sentence told me this writer wasn’t worth reading: “Amazon … revolutionized the antiquated idea of big-box retail”?

      Uh, no Cameron. Amazon didn’t “revolutionize big box retail”. They made it obsolete and replaced it. That’s like saying Henry Ford “revolutionized” horse-drawn carriages.


  4. I work at Best Buy. And there is something that they do get right. The Kindle Fire is actually, according to Best Buy computers, an e-reader; not a tablet. Suck it Amazon.

    1. But compared to the other, much cheaper Kindle models, doesn’t the Fire actually suck ass as an e-reader?

      If Best Buy computers have a category for toys, it should probably go under that.

  5. The Kindle Fire really did kill the non-iPad tablet market and with a forked version of Android, to boot. That must be a horrors for Google when they’re supposed to be pushing the latest and greatest Ice Cream Sandwich for Android devices. Well, Google wanted an open OS that anyone can do anything with and now they got what they deserve. Unless a user goes out to the browser, all they’re going to be fed is ads for Amazon. Thanks to Amazon, that version of Android is pretty much closed.

    Google could end up getting bitten in the ass by Amazon’s ecosystem. It would appear that any company could take Android and close it off to their own ecosystem if they really wanted to and leave Google Market hanging in the breeze. With Google ad clicks dropping on mobile devices, Google may not have a worthwhile strategy for Android that will net them any huge amounts of money. Giving stuff away doesn’t seem like a great way to run a successful business in the long-term.

    1. You know what would make 2012 fantastic?

      1 Apple freezes Google out iOS.
      2 Google gets frozen out of Android by handset makers who replace Google with Bing and other portals.
      3 Apple sues Google for willful infringement for Android and clobbers Google.
      4 Oracle delivers the death blow.
      5 People realize Google is a corrupt search portal and abandon it wholesale.

  6. “…much to the dismay of Apple investors.”


    Yes, Apple stock is totally in trouble because of the Kindle Fire. The recent earnings report was done in a soft whisper due to the utter shame for getting blown away by the Kindle Fire in the last quarter. I hear that Apple is just going to stop making iPads and start making Apple branded Kindle Fires. That is number 3 on the list right after 1. abandoning OSX for Windows and 2. giving all their cash reserves back to investors as a dividend.

  7. AMZN is in for a shock at 100 P/E coming into to earnings… if they don’t announce their tablet # or the Kindle / Fire mix, the stock is going to drop off a cliff at earnings. We all saw the BOGO kindle commercials and know the mix.

  8. I often wonder if Amazon’s own hype about “challenging” the iPad is a smokescreen for a far more probable goal: destroying the Nook. Amazon going against Apple is… like apples going against oranges. Amazon trashing the Nook quietly, without announcing that they’re seeking a near-monopoly on ebook sales and e-readers? Plausible. Very plausible.

  9. Kindle Fire effect on iPad sales: zero.

    Kindle Fire effect on rival Android tablets: devastation.

    Now, all 7″ Android tablets will need to be $200. And that means they will be sold at a loss, like the Kindle Fire. Amazon more than makes up the small initial-purchase loss with sales of goods from Just like Schick did selling razors at a loss and blades at a profit. Like Polaroid did with cameras at a loss and film at a profit.

    Motorola can’t do that. Samsung can’t do that. RIM can’t do that. Apple doesn’t need to do that because they sell iPad at a (very handsome) profit. Any profit from iTunes, App Store, iBooks, etc. are all gravy for Apple and value-add for consumers. (But this will change if Apple gets serious about upgrading Apple TV…)

  10. Dear author (whoever wrote this I couldn’t find your name attached to the article anywhere)

    Nice summation of a lot of bad reviews for the kindle fire. I agree with your take until you come to giving numbers on market capitalization. While your numbers are correct saying that Amazon isn’t a contender just because they are worth less shows that you don’t have a grasp on how capitalism works.

    First of all: Apple couldn’t buy Amazon even if they wanted to. At best they could offer all of their cash and new stock and get a 75/25 merger out of it. Because as you buy stock, the stock price goes up. Meaning to buy all available stock on the market to take over Amazon OR if they wanted to offer a direct buyout, apple would have to value the Amazon stock at at least 1.3 times the current value. I don’t know if you’ve ever read about friendly or unfriendly buyouts but usually you value assets as well as future profits and the business volume of a company. To be honest with all the reviews on, the customer database and the Kindle platform I’d guess you’d be lucky if you would get Amazon for double their current market capitalization.

    Look at what Microsoft paid for Skype. It sold for 800 Million US$ to Marc Andreesen from eBay and 18 months later Andreesen managed to get all the principle programmers of the first version back on board with the company and Microsoft paid billions just to keep Google’s hands off of it. Meaning IF Apple showed interest in Amazon you can bet there would be other parties offering to be the white knight for Amazon, which would further raise the price Apple would have to pay.

    Let’s just say that Amazon is a contender this way or the other no matter how good or bad the Kindle Fire was reviewed. You should ask how many boosk a customer of the Fire bought (I heard numbers of up to 150US$ after initial purchase, which I think is tenfold more than what an iBook customer buys), making the Kindle customer that much more valuable.

    There are other points when it comes to this topic but I’ll leave it at that. I think you got carried away talking about the bad Kindle Fire reviews and then made a bold statement.

    Because the bottom line is this: iBooks isn’t a strong contender in the eBook market. Amazon is the market leader there and there’s little doubt about that. It’s one thing to debunk the myth that the Fire was published to rave reviews. But trying to say Amazon isn’t the juggernaut here when it comes to the platform (not the hardware) is just as silly.

    1. I agree that Amazon is a powerful player in terms of how cohesive their ecosystem is. But it’s not just about market share. What about profit? Amazon made 63 million dollars in profit last quarter compared with Apple’s 13 billion. Amazon does not appear to be a threat to Apple’s bottom line, and many are predicting them to start hemorrhagIng money this year because of sales tax and because of hardware losses. Rather than Amazon, I would argue that Samsung is a greater threat to Apple because Apple is dependent on Samsung for certain technologies. Apple needs to do everything in its power to separate itself from Samsung

      1. Amazon isn’t making profits at the moment because they are heavily subsidizing the Kindle hardware to get a foot in the door – or better – claim the market of eBook readers for themselves to establish a monopoly (or at least oligopoly).

        Apple got the monopoly by building hardware that was never before seen. They basically established a whole new phone category (“Smartphone” before was the Nokia Communicator and the Blackberry – full size keyboard hell) and the tablet market with the iPad.

        Just look at the first seven years of Amazon revenue figures. They steamrolled the online retail market and now they are using their expertise to steamroll the eBook-Reader market.

        1. Amazon’s capitalization occupies a strange universe that rewards a company with a p/e of 100. At some some point the company needs to earn that ratio. I don’t ever see that happening.

          Amazon’s revenue and profit are a rounding error compared to Apple.

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