Amazon Builds Tablets, Google Builds a Shopping Site, Everyone Is Copying Everyone

Amazon, Apple and Google are becoming more and more like each other

By on September 7th, 2012 13:41 GMT
If there's one thing that the three new Kindle Fires show, it's that Amazon is not afraid to go head to head with Google, in a big way.

Just as Google unveiled the Nexus 7, a serious competitor to the original Kindle Fire, Amazon rolls out a cheaper Kindle Fire, a Kindle Fire that's better in several ways but at the same price and a bigger Kindle Fire.

Granted, Amazon is taking on Apple more than it is on Google, the Nexus 7 for all of its success barely registers next to the iPad juggernaut. The new, larger Kindle Fire for 60 percent the price of the cheapest iPad is a clear shot at Apple.

But for the sake of the argument, let's focus on Google. It's hardly a secret, but what's the most ironic about Amazon's success is that the company is beating Google with Google's own weapons, i.e. Android.

Google has been trying to put out a successful Android tablet for a few years now and, until the Nexus 7, nothing worked. Amazon, in the meantime, was able to grab 22 percent of the US tablet market.

But whereas Google is building Android to sell ads, Amazon is building a tablet to sell everything else, including with ads.

How well it works remains to be seen, but that's Amazon's plan, discount the hardware and make up the difference in sales on Amazon.com plus digital sales, music, movies, books and so on.

Google though has been taking notice. It has its own music, movie, ebook store and it's been using that content to prop up the Nexus 7, the same strategy that Amazon employed.

But it goes deeper than this, Google is, in a way, going into retail sales. The new Google Shopping is its attempt to build an Amazon or an eBay into the search engine.

The new Google Shopping only lists entries from companies that pay Google for inclusion and Google is getting very involved not only in sending people to the stores, but also things like payments and warranties.

Google is not taking on Amazon.com directly, just yet, but it's clear that it is something it's giving serious thoughts on.

The possibility of Google succeeding in taking on Amazon.com are laughable at best. Amazon has spent a decade and a half building the leanest and meanest retail operation on the planet.

Google, on the other hand, has been playing catch-up with me-too services for the past few years, from Google+ to the Nexus 7 that is, in essence, a Kindle Fire clone.

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