What’s the hottest new tech gadget over the past two years? No, it’s not Apple Watch. No, it’s not Apple’s AirPods, or even the new line of MacBook Pros. The hottest selling new product is Amazon’s Echo. Ask anybody.
Just don’t ask anybody to compare numbers or give a definition as to what constitutes a hot selling product. Those who make such guesstimates will point out that Apple Watch, over the past two years, has outsold Amazon Echo devices by nearly 10-1, and at double the average selling price, but it’s Amazon’s new creation that is the future of gadgets. So, why does Apple need what Amazon makes?
Too Big To Fail
Among technology gadget makers, Apple’s string of hit products dwarfs Amazon’s string of products. It’s not really much of a contest. Arby’s has the meats. Apple has the hits. Amazon has the, uh, well, attempts at creating a hit. That’s what Apple needs more of. Attempts. Amazon attempts more. They fail more, yes, but the same could be said of home run hitters. They may strike out more often, but the crowd loves those homers.
Let me give credit where credit is due. Amazon swings more frequently than Apple. Amazon strikes out more frequently than Apple. Amazon has yet to hit a home run. But they’re still in the game, still swinging, still working at re-inventing the future.
Nobody hits home runs like Apple. Not Barry Bonds (762; thanks to performance enhancing chemicals not found in vitamins or hot dogs). Not Hank Aaron (755; the old fashioned way– vitamins). Not Babe Ruth (714; the original way– hot dogs and beer). The list is long and notable of Apple products which disrupted and reshaped entire industries. The original Apple II. The Mac. Apple Stores. The iPod, iTunes, iTunes Music Store, iPhone, the App Store, iPad, Apple Pay, Apple Watch, Beats and AirPods (Apple is the giant among the growing wireless headphone segment).
You get the idea, right? All successful. All big money makers. All home runs.
What does Amazon have that is as successful as Apple? Nothing. Amazon itself doesn’t make much money, but it has a dominant position selling other people’s products, and it set the future for cloud infrastructure with AWS, moved the needle with Kindle, but is oh so successful selling its own technology gadgets that it never announces how many have been sold.
That’s telling, you know.
Yet, Amazon keeps coming to the plate, and keeps swinging away, keeps slinging the mud, keeps on keeping on; often with their own tech gadgets that get better reviews from technology media writers (often enticed with a free product to review) than word of mouth usage would imply. But give them credit where the credit is due. Amazon keeps trying, continues to experiment, works diligently to create new product categories, and build out its own product infrastructure.
Apple may have a higher batting average and more home runs by far, but to toss in another analogy, Apple seems to have become the hare to Amazon’s tortoise, and we know how that story ended.