I read “Amazon ups the ante in war against Apple” by Adam Lashinsky (http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2012/09/07/amazon-vs-apple/) about how Amazon is hurting Apple, but it didn’t look at how the new Kindle Fire is helping to kill off the Android tablet market.
Just as many companies tried to come up with iPod killers and failed, it is common to try to compete or just compare with the best. But it is also important to look at the impact to other players on the market. Sony Walkman didn’t just lose to iPod, but also to other iPod-killer-wannabes like Sandisk and Creative Labs.
Is Amazon truly hurting Apple? Did Kindle Fire had a substantial impact to iPad sales? Will Apple be changing their pricing model to compete with Amazon?
Amazon is helping to kill the Android tablet market. They have made it very challenging for other tablet makers to make money from selling the hardware as Kindle Fire is priced near to cost and Amazon will make money from selling content or ads. “Pure” hardware makers like Samsung and LG cannot easily compete and make money from content which they do not have viable business model to do so. It is not as bad for Sony as they own some of their own content, but playing nice with other content providers will be difficult. Google and Motorola might be okay if they stop counting the losses from hardware and just focus on the wider economics, but it creates an unfair advantage to other Android partners and one day they will be forced to react.
Samsung’s decision to make Microsoft Surface tablet is another strong reminder that Android has not secured the tablet market as it has with smartphone market. With a wave of Microsoft Surface tablets from many computer makers coming soon, together with deep integration with desktop Windows 8 and Microsoft Office, the future isn’t looking any brighter for Android Tablets. Everyone might find it hard to imagine Android limited to just smartphones only, but they are certainly not the first one to try and fail to move a Phone or even PDA OS to the wider platform. Android might have just replaced Symbian as the most popular Phone OS, but can it go much further? Google recently presented their views on the multi-screen world, but forgetting it is just highlighting that they are far from winning on 3 out of the 4 screens (Computer, Phone, Tablet and TV).