Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Internet Is Amazon Is The Internet

Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO took to the stage in an airline hanger today in Santa Monica to announce new devices. The company that started as a portal to order a variety of items from the internet has fast become a content giant. With three new devices, they take their place now as a serious hardware contender as well.

He announced a new e reader featuring what they are calling a Paperwhite display. Previous versions of the Kindle could never get that crisp white look that we get from reading traditional books. That looks to change now. Before now as well, Kindle users were left in the dark without any kind of back lighting. Now their latest eBook reader features lighting and an incredible battery life. On top of that, he announced two new Kindle Fire devices. One devices is an update to the 7 inch Kindle Fire, the other is an 8.9 inch content behemoth. These tablets are designed to run applications as well as provide a rich portal to Amazon's content. Added to the announcements for the new 9 inch Fire was the option to purchase 250 MB of 4G LTE at 50 bucks a month, bringing great savings versus the iPad or Android tablets that offer 3G or 4G connectivity.

While these devices may fall short in some ways, I think that Amazon has hit a grand slam with these device announcements. Now Amazon has the hardware to deliver their content from a variety of arenas. They continue to dominate the e book business, but with these devices that have more powerful processors and even front facing cameras, they can now better push out other content sections of their business.

They are fast becoming a leader and a thorn in the side of Apple in music. Amazon MP3 provides the best alternative to iTunes boasting 256MB quality songs, no DRM, and their own music match program to compete with Apple while keeping Google Music's platform eating dust.

With Amazon Prime, users are now getting access to a wider variety of movies and television to complement the free shipping they receive on Amazon orders. With these devices now movies become more compelling to watch and the music space becomes more viable in ways that we could only imagine five years ago. On top of this, they rely on the power and freedom of Android to provide these products to us.

Amazon will take a loss on the manufacturing of these devices, but their bet that their content will remain king is safe. Despite my love for all of my Android devices, I still find myself immersed in the Amazon ecosystem. With a renewed desire to provide the best possible service, this company provides that one two punch that not only puts retail stores in grave danger, but other traditional sources of content distribution as well.

I see this as a welcome threat. Traditional brick and mortar stores have been placed in check by this one company. It's now up to them to get themselves out of this position or continue to face serious decline. Amazon is surely not going anywhere anytime soon and now other tech companies are going to start to feel the heat from these Fires.