Why Amazon and Apple Will Not Kill Each Other

August 12, 2010
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When Farhad Manjoo is not battling angry tweeters over his allegedly racist Slate article on “blacktags,” he is writing interesting material about hot technology topics.

When Farhad Manjoo is not battling angry tweeters over his allegedly racist Slate article on “blacktags,” he is writing interesting material about hot technology topics.

In the most recent September 2010 issue of Fast Company magazine, Farhad wrote a Tech Edge article called “The End of Winner-Take-All.”  Farhad predicts that certain tech markets will result in stalemates instead of one company wiping out all other contenders.

As examples of two potential market dominators, Farhad points out the Amazon Kindle and Apple iPad. Rather than be enemies, Amazon and Apple might just have reasons to play nicely. 

I use Amazon’s Kindle app and think it is the best e-reader for the iPad — better than Kobo, Stanza, eReader, or even Apple’s iBook.  Thanks to this app, my iPad becomes a front-end to the Amazon bookstore, which I prefer to those from competitors such as Borders or Barnes & Nobles.

Farhad writes:

Speaking to investors, [Amazon CEO Jeff] Bezos pointed out that because Kindle books are delivered across the Internet to a range of devices–including the iPad–Amazon might actually benefit from the Apple tablet’s popularity.  The more iPads Apple sells, the more potential Amazon customers.  Bezos is wise to ignore the calls for Amazon to make the Kindle more like the iPad.  The Kindle will be a gadget whose only purpose is to read books.  Bezos concedes that such a device isn’t for everyone, but ‘serious readers’ will always prefer a dedicated e-reader.

This cooperative thinking is foreign to the BI software market where each mega-vendor wants to supply the entire “technology stack” for a company’s architecture.

Personally, I hope that Farhad is correct and Amazon and Apple will be buddies in the competitive e-reader market space (I love them both!).