Friday, September 7, 2012

Your move, Apple



Dear Apple, I'm just about ready to ditch you. The other day I saw the Kindle Fire HD and I realized that it had everything I wanted in a tablet for far less money than your iPad.

Yes, Apple, I know. We've had some good times. I've invested quite a bit in apps from your iTunes store, and I'll miss them. But maybe it's time to move on. Amazon's store is pretty well stocked too.

It's not a case of replacing you with the latest model. It's something that Jeff Bezos said that made a whole lot of sense, something about getting off the "upgrade treadmill." And there was some talk about the Kindle Fire as a service. "Hardware device as a service – that's what people want," he said. And I think he's right about that.  

I don't want to pay for the latest greatest tablet every year. Amazon's biz model – where they make money off the content instead of the hardware and the content – looks to work in my favor.

The tablet is just a gateway to this beautiful garden of content full of books, apps, movies and tunes. Amazon's "gateway" is dirt cheap. Cost of entry into your garden, Apple, is an arm and a leg compared to everyone else. Kindle Fire HD (large)? $300. Nexus 7 (7-inch screen)? $200. New Apple iPad? Starts at $499.

You know what? I'm still rooting for you. You've created some amazing stuff, and the announcement next week will no doubt address this change in the tablet landscape. Maybe you'll announce a small, cheaper iPad. Maybe you'll show us some fancy new tech that we'll gladly pay more for. Maybe you'll drop your prices. I would like to be surprised.

I just have a sneaky suspicion that it will come down to what Mr Bezos was talking about. I'm going to buy your content no matter what. Are you still going to overcharge me for the hardware? If the answer is yes, you better pull something amazing out of that hat, Apple. These Amazon guys are on to something here.

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