As much as we like to think of Apple as an innovative and market disrupting technology company, the facts are facts. Amazon has the cojones these days. Apple may make a lot of money, and that’s not easy to do, but showing off a little brass can be a fun story.
Take Amazon. Puhleeze. Now this company has cojones. Already Amazon is the world’s largest online retailer, and despite a decided inability to squeeze profits from growing revenue, the company isn’t afraid to stretch the envelope, whether it’s maltreatment of employees or delivering goodies by drone.
Late last year Amazon began testing drone deliveries. Yep. Those drones. The drones that your neighbors kids use to drive you crazy. The drones that birds, dogs, and cats love to attack. But not quite the drones the U.S. military uses to wipe terrorist’s cojones off the planet. Not those drones.
The problem with drones is the U.S. is multifold. For now, they need to be within eyesight of the person driving the drone (piloting the drone just sounded too official and governmental). They also need to drop one box at a time and fly all the way back to ground zero to pick up another package.
Instead of farming out deliveries to FedEx, USPS, or UPS, or whatever gets into your neighborhood, Amazon has a plan that goes beyond a mere drone. Think of an aircraft carrier in the sky, but instead of housing planes and helicopters, Amazon’s AFC would hold products for delivery like a giant UPS or FedEx blimp, a dirigible full of goodies, and full of drones to deliver said packages of goodies back to planet earth and perhaps to your home.
This is a floating aircraft carrier in the sky. The floating part is the blimp. The aircraft carrier part is an entire fleet of drones ready to depart, drop a load (so to speak), and return to the literal mothership. Amazon thinks such a device could float around at 454,000 feet, and the unmanned aerial vehicles (tech speak for drones) could be stocked up with packages and deployed to the ground as needed to ensure an on time delivery.
Apple could do this almost overnight and without the aircraft carrier problems.
Instead, Apple could one up Amazon and send drones from a launch pad on top of every mall where an Apple Store resides. In the U.S. that means about 270 Apple literal Airports where packages could be loaded up onto drones and spew out of the Store like yellow jackets hunting down a kid with a stick but without the pain.
Every time there’s a new iPhone released there’s a line at the mall. Apple could use the drones in place of humans to drive by the line of would-be customers to drop off bottled water, or take an order number. Why stop there? Instead of employees greeting customers at the Apple Store door, why not drones with little screens, a microphone, and a speaker to ask each new customer what they need during their visit. Shoplifters be forewarned. An Apple Store drone could follow you down the mall with your pilfered iPod or Beats headphones, perhaps targeting you with ink for future identification, or even snap pictures as you run away with a terrified look on your face.
None of that may be practical, though I’m sure a few spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations say the idea is feasible, but it’s Amazon demonstrating the use of technology cojones these days, not Apple.