Dr. Axel Rauschmayer is a freelance software engineer, blogger and educator, located in Munich, Germany. Axel is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 246 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

Amazon as a competitor to Google and Apple

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Amazon seems to become a competitor for both Google and Apple. Recently, it has taken the following two steps:

  • It created its own app store for Android. [1]
  • It created an online storage service that streams music to mobile and other devices. [2]

These feel like slow and deliberate steps towards Android-based mobile devices. Amazon’s strengths are as follows:

  • Compared to Google: much more focused, good at selling things, has more content readily available, many accounts with payment information already exist.
  • Compared to Apple: understands the web (Apple really should have a web-based iTunes store [3]), better at marketing (Amazon’s affiliate experience is much better than Apple’s, the same holds for publishing on the iBookstore [4]).

Amazon is not as good as Apple at producing quality hardware, but better than most companies. It’s inspiring to see Amazon’s strategy unfold, I’m looking forward to the next chapter.

Related reading:

  1. How Amazon could loosen Google's iron grip on Android
  2. Amazon Cloud Drive: online storage with one new idea
  3. Why the iTunes store should be web-based
  4. Adam Engst on iPad and ereaders. Quote:

    [...] I can't say that working with Amazon has ever been easy for publishers (and we haven't done much with it), but working with the iBookstore has been the most amazingly horrible, opaque, and frustrating experience I've had. Apple's software is terrible, the iTunes Connect Web site is lousy, and support questions often aren't answered for - and I'm not kidding here - months. It's gotten a little better over time, but mostly it makes my stomach hurt.
  5. Touring The Amazon Appstore
Published at DZone with permission of Axel Rauschmayer, author and DZone MVB. (source)

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)


Alex(JAlexoid) ... replied on Mon, 2011/04/04 - 2:45pm

Based on how Google treats Android Market these days, I would say that Google could leverage Amazon's expertise to gain more market-share and mind-share.

It does not look like Amazon is willing to build an ecosystem for ODMs and support the developers*, like Google. But will do good for the market, because of their focus on retail and marketing.

So my point is, that Amazon will be a competitor if Google chooses so. Otherwise they can be partners, as they have been before many times. Amazon MP3 store was preloaded with my Nexus One, by the way...

 * BTW Googlers support the developers all the time on Android lists/forums and IRC

Axel Rauschmayer replied on Tue, 2011/04/05 - 5:29pm

Good points. I'm glad to hear that the Android team is so supportive of developers. Given that Google currently uses its app store to exert control over the platform, we'll have to see how things develop. But if Amazon can help grow Android, Google does indeed stand to profit, too.

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