A little competition is good for those of us who buy our technology gadgets from one of the major players, right? We get better products and technology makers have to up their game. That’s the way it should be.
Something more sinister is taking place in technology these days. Everybody wants to rule the world and I’m not sure why that’s a good thing. I’m looking at you Jeff Bezos, and Amazon. What’s going on? Why should we care that Amazon wants to own everything?
The Primed World
Yes, I’m an Amazon Prime member and all that has caused me to do over the past couple of years is to spend more money at Amazon. If Amazon had gadgets and software as good as Apple I might buy those. Instead, Prime membership has me buying products here and there because, 1) no shipping charges, 2) selection is enormous, 3) customer support is good (used to be better), and 4) competition for what I buy at Amazon usually costs me more money.
What I see taking place should be obvious and it seems to be a trait of many of those who run very large, successful, and profitable enterprises. Microsoft, Google, Samsung, Amazon, among others.
But not Apple. Why not?
It’s obvious that Amazon does not fear anything Apple does, but sure wants to slice off a few million of Apple’s customers to buy non-Apple products wherever and whenever it can. Oh, yes, Amazon sells plenty of Apple’s gadgets, too, but no iPhones unless you like certified refurbished. No Apple AirPods, either, but I did find a Chinese-made AirPod knockoff— looks like a single AirPod, left side only.
World domination has been tried in the past. Alexander did it in the Mideast a few thousand years ago. The Romans tried it. Hitler and the Russians, too. Probably many, many others. They all failed.
Amazon will fail, too.
Humans like diversity. Amazon has become more like the Walmart of online gadgetry dispensers. Cheap rules. Even Prime has its limitations because Amazon often marks up the Prime price tag so it’s actually higher than the same non-Prime product without free shipping (although many have free shipping, and depending upon where you live, may be less).
Amazon also engages in deceptive pricing which changes almost by the moment. Apple gives each product a price tag, and variations get a different price tag, but it stays mostly the same since Apple doesn’t really engage in sales and promotions much. That helps to keep resale prices higher which helps to lower overall total ownership cost.
Apple seems content to stick with building its own ecosystem; a walled garden, highly curated but mostly safe environment where customers get dependable, secure products that work well together. Amazon doesn’t even care about turning a profit, but instead wants to dominate online retailers, and thanks to the pending purchase of Whole Foods, stores, too.
The latest news says Amazon wants to setup yet another messaging standard called Anytime. Why? Do we not have enough text messaging or instant messaging platforms already?
There’s Messages from Apple, standard text messaging (SMS), Line, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, whatever Google is calling their latest, AIM, BlackBerry, ICQ, Skype, WeChat, Telegram, and a gazillion more. What can Amazon possibly gain by adding another to the list?
Think of what Apple does with FaceTime, Messages, and the iPhone’s cellphone capability. Amazon’s Anytime app could do all that and more within a single app. Nobody’s done that very well yet but that seems to be where Amazon is going with a platform that could make one app do everything multiple apps already do.
Again, why? Where’s the beef?
Maybe Amazon wants Alexa everywhere. Maybe Amazon wants to listen in on our phone calls and video calls, transcribe every one of them, build a database of detail about you, me, our friends and family, and then, try to sell us more goods.
It could happen.
Last week I used Amazon and searched for one of those flexible water hoses you see on TV commercials. Now Amazon thinks I’m into collecting water hoses. I get email from Amazon about water hoses and every website I visit these days has advertising for water hoses (some not even from Amazon).
Why would I want to support a world like that?
I like my Apple world the way it is, and I prefer that Amazon stay out of other places I like, too, including food.