title: Amazon's future is much bigger than a tablet category: link link: http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2011/09/amazon-bigger-than-tablet/ date: 07/09/2011 timestamp: 2011-09-07 11:43:44.594584 -06:00
A thought-provoking piece from Tim Carmody of Wired. Tim asserts that Amazon has become the single most disruptive company in the media and technology space, eclipsing Apple, Google and Microsoft.
Amazon’s competitors are mostly software companies focused on a small number of tent-pole products that they then market to consumers or enterprise. Amazon is a company focused on selling anything and everything, from mass-market paperbacks to infrastructure-as-a-service, or IaaS. In order to do that, it’s become a major technology powerhouse, from shipping, sourcing and logistics in its warehouses to the software that powers its web site and e-readers.
That is a pretty bold assessment, and one I can't totally agree with. It's hard to argue that anyone has changed the landscape of technology and media more than Apple, beginning with the debut of the original iPod. It could be said that Amazon is simply capitalizing on the technological breakthroughs of Apple.
Jeff Bezos's company built the first electronic bookstore with the Kindle and who says they can't do the same with other forms of media. I mentioned on Twitter that I thought the Amazon tablet would most likely be a cheap (and great) portal to everything Amazon sells. If that turns out to be the case I think Amazon will have the first successful iPad alternative. But even if it turns out to be a wild success, it's hard to say whether it will slow the iPad down at all. Amazon is smartly marketing their tablet to a different audience (different screen size and lower price), but may end up just cannibalizing Kindle sales. I see a future where the Kindle tablet co-exists nicely with the iPad in much the same way the Kindle does today.