Amazon, Google, and Android: The Stakes Rise
December 11, 2011
Amazon has added incentive to compete more aggressively with Google. The kids in Mountain View have decided to emulate Amazon’s Prime free shipping model. Google is also collecting different features to build what looks to me like a similar, Amazon type service. Hey, that’s innovation today. Live with it.
Is Google being exploited? It’s hard to imagine, but Datamation makes the case in “How Amazon Is Making a Sucker Out of Google.” Writer Mike Elgan insists that Google’s anything-goes Android policy, in which any company can use Android for any purpose, gives Amazon the leverage it needs to seriously wound the search giant.
Amazon’s Kindle Fire, which runs a version of Android, is positioned to undercut its competitors. Amazon is literally selling the Fire at a loss, intending to make up the money in easy tablet-based ordering form Amazon.com. This clever bit of manipulation will deal a blow to Android tablet makers and, by extension, to Google. It will also place Kindle Fires in many, many hands, which is where the real trouble starts, according to Elgan. The article asserts:
Amazon sells Kindles in order to sell products and services on the Amazon.com web site. And nearly all these products and services directly compete with Google’s. . . . “The Kindle Fire is the cloudiest of cloud tablets. To use the device is to become a user of Amazon’s cloud services. Cloud storage is free and unlimited for Kindle Fire users, which means there’s no reason to bother with Google’s cloud services.”
Perhaps Elgan is right: Google should play some defense and change its licensing rules before it’s too late? Our view is that Chinese four SIM phone manufacturers will be doing their own thing with Android too. Cat is out of the bag and eating tuna in Seattle.
Cynthia Murrell, December 11, 2011
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