Heavyweight bouts usually consist of 200-pound plus monsters bashing each other in public for our entertainment. Now we can add multibillion-dollar corporations to the show.
Amazon has launched a full frontal assault on Apple’s new iPad mini.
The massive online retailer is not just comparing the Kindle Fire HD with Cupertino’s latest. It’s not just saying ours is better than yours. And it’s not just hiding its message under the proverbial bushel. Amazon is using its home page — perhaps the most valuable digital real estate on the planet — to absolutely ambush the iPad mini.
This is not just trash talking. This is in-your-face dialed up to 11, fist in the face, calling Apple out, dropping the gloves and saying “let’s go.” And gadget blog Gizmodo is helping, in a way.
Amazon is using a quote from Gizmodo to help drive home the point:
” … your [Apple's] 7.9-inch tablet has far fewer pixels that the competing 7-inch tablets! You’re cramming a worse screen in there, charging more, and accusing others of compromise? Ballsy.”
Amazon is hitting Apple where it hurts: the display, the dual speakers, and yes, most of all, the price, the price, the price. It’s what we said when we first saw the iPad mini: light, portable, awesome, expensive. And it’s the difference between a company that makes money on the device — no points for guessing Apple, people — and a company that sells hardware at cost so that it can make money on content sales.
Razor, meet blades.
The issue is perhaps not so much whether Amazon is freaked out by the iPad mini as whether it is freaking out with joy, amazed to be handed a potential marketing coup on a platter. And it’s one that, if Apple had started its pricing at $250, as the rumors had at one point indicated, would be a tougher sell.
The real question, if you’re an Amazon shareholder, is whether Jeff Bezos can ever turn the biggest digital marketing platform on the planet into a content cash cow. Or, when he wants to.
For Apple shareholders, of course, the question is whether Apple’s legendary brand, its content and apps ecosystem, and its industry-best quality, fit, and finish are enough to overcome a $130 price gap.