…the store represents the first attempt by a major retailer to offer a “curated” selection of Android applications for sale. That means the apps that stock Amazon’s virtual shelves will be reviewed and tested. According to Amazon’s rules, the apps must work properly and be safe, both in terms of consumer data privacy and the impact to the mobile device itself. In other words, it’s a selection of mobile applications that won’t slow your phone to a crawl or drain your battery. You can also stop worrying about whether or not an app is safe to use when it’s downloaded from Amazon, as all will be screened for malware.
Apple has gained much success and experience in selling self branded mobile computing gadgets in its 3 iterations of the Kindle ereader. It has long been rumored that they will be coming out with their own Android tablet, which should be interesting because if they are paying attention the Barnes and Noble ereader for $190 can out run an iPad 1 if unleashed. See Customized Nook Color vs Ipad - part 2. If management is on their p's and q's, their is market share to be taken from the industry leader. GigaOm’s Ostatic agrees:
[Amazon] has content assets that it can build around a device designed to be more robust than today’s Kindles are. As a platform, Android represents a huge opportunity for Amazon, and one that it could leverage with its own Android app store. There are already rumors that Amazon is working with Android. This year, look for Amazon to push forward with a more ambitious tablet device strategy, and watch as it produces the most direct competition to the iPad yet.
All of this comes at at time when Apple, the current category leader has alienated many developers and content providers (who still feel they must use Apple's portal anyway - thus there are no significant losses yet) by forcing them to share all revenue generating transactions with Apple at a 30% cost - not to mention banning Flash, etc. On the topic of Flash, Adobe has released version 10.2 for Android and it (finally) works flawlessly. I use my HTC Evo to stream movies on demand from Amazon with a glitch with no stutter, pixelation or material delay. It is at this point that I feel Jobs has erred and may have to back track on the Flash decision. Whether he does or he doesn't it appears as if Google will attempt to take advantage of what is now a significant platform advantage and marketing angle. Now...
What Do Dominant Companies Do When Threatened With Strong Competition & the Potential for Margin Compression?
You had to know this was coming. Apple, which is already engaged in a heated battle with Microsoft for the protection of its "App Store" trademark, has filed suit against Amazon for its "improper use" of the same. Amazon's Android Appstore seems to have been intentionally contracted to a single word to differentiate its name, but that difference isn't enough for Apple, which has asked a California court to grant a ruling preventing Amazon's use of the moniker and asking for unspecified damages. Apple claims it reached out to Amazon on three separate occasions asking it to rename its software download offering, but when faced with the lack of a "substantive response," it decided to take things to court. Its big task remains unchanged -- proving that the term App Store is something more than a generic descriptor -- and this was a somewhat inevitable move given Amazon's choice of name. The legal maneuvering, as always, continues.
Angry Birds Rio is 99 cents on the iPhone, $2.99 on the iPad, and is free today as part Amazon's Appstore for Android launch (Amazon scored the Angry Birds Android launch exclusive). You you have to download the Amazon Appstore app to your Android phone to download the game. (Click the "Get app" link on Amazon's site and follow the directions).
This version of Angry Birds is actually a licensed game that's a tie-in to the upcoming "Rio" animated movie, which hits theaters April 15.
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The Creative Destruction Caused by Android Continues to Erupt on the Hardware Side As Well
On the hardware side, the Android onslaught continues as refresh cycles come at a breathtaking clip of over once per year. Below is the world's "thinnest" smartphone at 8.49mm thick, for those US centric chaps - that is exactly 1/3rd of an inch thick. Packed into that tiny space is a 4.3 ince super AMOLED plus HD screen (Samsungs makes the brightest, most vibrant screens in the market), dual core 1 GHz chips, Gingerbread, 1080P 8 mp camera w.2mp front facing counter and a full gaming suite. The competition is truly heating up. This is about where I expect the iPhone 5 to come in terms of feature set. Expect a small form factor version of Honeycomb (pure touch screen experience OS that avoids the need for any hardware buttons besides on/off) to be released by the iPhone 5's debut.
See Endgadget for more: Samsung Galaxy S II official: dual-core 1GHz CPU, 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus, coming this month (hands-on with video).
The upgrade to my personal workhorse device, the HTC Evo is arriving with baddest hardware on the market (as was the Evo when it launched last year). From Endgadget:
CTIA snooping is in full swing today, as the HTC EVO 3D has seen its major specs divulged courtesy of a document within the exhibition halls of the show. True to our initial scoop and subsequent spec leak, we're looking at a 3D-capable successor to the EVO 4G, this one rocking a 1.2GHz dual-core processor (Qualcomm's MSM8660), a 4.3-inch qHD ( 960 x 540) display, dual 5 megapixel cameras around back, and the sweet, sweet promise of 1080p video playback. That's constrained to 720p for viewing 3D content, but there's no denying this new Sprint smartphone's shaping up to be yet another multimedia powerhouse. Specs of the EVO View tablet have also been snapped, marking it as indeed a Sprint rebadge of HTC's 1.5GHz, 7-inch Flyer slate. Look for both to become official at Sprint's presser later this week.
Be aware that this is true high definition 3D, not a device that requires one to wear glasses. The 5MP cameras can most likely combine to cooperatively snap 10MP pictures through overlay and will probably feature 180 degree panoramic capablities. To show how powerful these devices are, my HTC Evo, which is nearly a year old was upgraded with a customized version of Android's latest phone OS - Gingerbread (Cyanogen 7 flavor) and is much faster, much more stable and much more capable than it every was. The drastically improved picture quality from the camera is absolutely incredible, as is the HD video, the capabilities have been expanded immensely. It will be weeks before I discover the true capabilities of this device despite the fact I am an expert at this stuff, and the hardware upgrade is literally an evolutionary step forward.
For those interested interest in the proposed Deustch Telekom T-Mobile/AT&T merger changing the playing field, keep in mind what I warned subscribers of last year in the very accurate subscriber research note title The Race for 4G Next Generation Broadband Deployment... The proposed merger will have to clear it with the feds which may take up to a full year. Dan Hesse (Sprint CEO) has apparently scored a very big win for his roll out via strategic deployment of a less popular technology. He has captured (arguably) the most 4G market share through Wimax deployment nearly a year ahead of his much larger competition while retaining the ability to switch over to net generation technology as the better funded competition struggles to deploy LTE. He has achieved several firsts in the industry from the Evo to 4G. Sprint's WiMax will mostly likely combine upcoming LTE with its WiMax tech all the while bypassing the stopgap LTE that all of the other carriers are trying to rollout - remaining a step ahead of the game. Many fail to realize that Sprint has the spectrum and the infrastructure to do a massive 4G rollout after rollng off legacy networks inherited from Nextel iDen and upgrading to next gen tech that doesn't suffer from the inability to penetrate walls which is the major drawback of the current generation of WiMax. What Sprint doesn't have is the capital to take advantage of these capabilities.
See the The Race for 4G Next Generation Broadband Deployment... for the $5 billion capital already injected and the possibility of a takeover by Google - yeah, Uh Oh!
From my most recent post on Shorting Apple…
In 7 quarters, Android went from last place to first place – WORLDWIDE! Expect the same to happen in the tablet space where competition is even worse and the Android camp has a much larger stable of much more capable competitors ready to jump out of the gate as the iPad has only one year head start as compared to the iPhone’s 3 year head start. Does the market see this? At the money, front month puts jumped 41% while Apple fell faster and farther than Google during the market rout, and gained less, slower during the government pump up.
I am slowly gathering puts on Apple again, with tight trailings, of course. Apple’s situation may not become apparent immediately, but it is definitely in more of a competitive bind than many are letting on. I have been clamoring that Apple’s margins will get chopped by Android’s commoditizng the smartphone space – both on the lower and and the higher end. See Apple on the Margin and my on air proclamation just hours before Apple released earnings and declared – surprise, surprise – a drop in margins. Go to 3:40 in the video…
- The Potential Equity Investments Most Likely To Prosper From the Google/Apple/Microsoft Mobile Computing Battle
- The Nokia/Microsoft Alliance & Android’s Commoditization Of The Mobile Computing Platform…
- Apple Gears Up To Combat The Margin Compression That Apparently Only It, Google & Reggie Middleton Sees Coming
- Will Google Win The Mobile Computing War? Let’s Walk Through Where They Stand Now & How To Value Them
- Sony Bites The Bullet & Joins The Android Camp, Adding Its Entire Suite of PSOne Games To The Android Platform
- If You Need More Proof Of Apple’s Inability To Keep Up With Google’s Android & Over 100 Other Android Hardware Vendors…
Subscribers are reminded to review the Apple iPhone Profit Margin Scenario Analysis Model as well as review the Apple Earnings Guidance Analysis document that details how Apple’s management expertly manages sell side earnings expectations, and consequently their share price. Non-subscription readers should reference How Google is Looking to Cut Apple’s Margin and How the Sell Side of Wall Street Will Enable This Without Sheeple Investor’s Having a Clue and then compare and contrast to Will Google Win The Mobile Computing War? Let’s Walk Through Where They Stand Now & How To Value Them.
- Shorting Apple and Why Software Developers Can Make More Money On Android
- Taking The Challenge To Goldman Sach’s Apple Proclamation One Step Further and Is It Now Common Knowledge That Goldman’s Investment Advice Sucks!
- As The Tablet Margin Crunching Parade Marches On, Consumers Benefit From The Cheapest Prices Of The Best Products:
- The Tablet Pricing Wars Have Commenced, Targeting Apple’s iPad 2 Which Is Not Even For Sale Yet…
- Steve Jobs Calls End Of the PC, We Call The End Of The Fat Margin Tablet – Including The Pretty iPad, With Proof!
- Apple on the Margin