Editorial: Can Someone Save Us From Apple?

Yes, we’re going here again. Commentators across the internet are blasting Apple for their lackluster showing of their new iPhone4s yesterday and the lack of any iPhone5 coming to life. The real question we started wondering was, does the hardware really matter anymore, or is it about what that hardware allows you to access? Have we hit a hardware wall where the bigger screens and faster processors mean waiting a millisecond instead of 2 milliseconds?

We were pretty vocal about the fact that so many of the new Apple features will require massive amounts of data to run. Syncing this and pulling that, uploading 8MP photos instead of 5, downloading 256kbps music instead of 128,  it all ads up. With carriers cutting data limits and increasing fees, is that really what an average consumer want’s to sign up for? Is the perfect experience worth the sacrifice of a few more cups of coffee? Many answer yes to this, and for the rest, well, just stop reading now because you won’t like where this is heading.

Apple makes computers. Apple makes tablets. Apple makes smaller tablets called iPods. Apple makes smaller tablets with cellular radios built in called iPhones. See where this is going. It’s all Apple, all the ‘same software’ and it all works beautifully together. There’s syncing between music files. There’s syncing between online and offline content as soon as it gets near the computer. It’s simple and brilliant.

To contrast this, let’s look at a personal setup here… Dell makes computers. Dell makes laptops. Dell makes touchscreen tablets. Dell makes cellular phones. Get them in the same room together, and chaos erupts. The desktop doesn’t talk to the laptop. The tablet is running a different version of windows than the laptop and the phone is running Android. There’s not a good experience here. Sure, with some reading and finding the right apps and sinking a ton of cash into it, you can get the entire setup running smoothly, but who wants to deal with that when a Mac and iPad are so easy?

While hardware specs are not in Apple’s favor anymore, the intangible experience level is. The what you can do with your devices out of their boxes is completely in their favor. No other manufacturer had a chance, except for HP, and even they threw in the towel before they got started. Apple is perfect, regardless of what hardware is released. They’ve been doing it a long time now, like 2007-2008 long time. Nobody is going to be able to knock them down a peg, because nobody else has the package… or do they…

Enter Amazon – the shopping king… with their MP3 store, Kindle reader, Mobile Appstore,  and cloud storage – all of which are free for right now. Now lets throw in a 7″ reader in full color that allows you to stream video, music or read your favorite books and magazines for $200. Let’s go a step further and add in a 10″ reader for $300… Then an unlocked, any carrier cell phone for $300 – no contract required – though AmazonWireless. Amazon has somehow snuck in and put together the package while nobody was looking. From PC to Laptop to Tablet to Phone, Amazon has the package, the experience.

This isn’t to say that Amazon should or would do this, but since Apple isn’t needing to compete in hardware specs anymore, they are relying on the experience to sell devices. If suddenly you could get an Amazon Phone and Tablet that worked with your iTunes content as well as your iPhone, would it be worth considering? Imagine if they did a 3.5″, a 4″ and a 4.5″ phone/media player with removable memory. Hinge that to a free SIM or other resale program, like SIMPLEMobile, T-Mobile or even Verizon’s CDMA network, with a prepaid or monthly billing option, people would be lining up to get it. It would still be Android at heart since Amazon has done such an amazing job with Android features, but it would ship as Amazoid instead of Android.

The bloatware would be minimal – Amazon MP3, Kindle, Amazon Appstore, Amazon.com App, and just to throw one more on there, Amazon Streaming Player for instant videos. This would push people to getting their Prime membership program, an instant return of $79.99 per year for every user. It would make Amazon the primary source where people would use the shopping feature from their device – at the mall, you scan the item and it finds it online at a better price for you. You click ship and it’s there in 2 days free with your Prime membership. Amazon could do it, and should.

The Kindle Fire has been a long time in coming, and it’s not even here yet. Google has tried to create the ‘perfect ecosystem’ to go after Apple, but they are missing in some key areas. Amazon on the other hand, took care of the key areas and rode Google’s coat tails on the rest. Now, take that Honeycomb or Ice Cream Sandwich operating system, perfect the experience and get those devices made.

Amazon, take this as a challenge from everyone that loves Android and loves Amazon’s offerings. We need you to step up and get this done before every manufacturer is sued, denied or driven out of business by the juggernaut. Sure, eventually something new could come along, but for now, “Help us Amazonia Kindlona, you’re our only hope.” Get that phone and tablet on the market and enjoy the increased business.

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