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New Amazon Kindle Fire will push price of current model to $149 - report

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
Amazon is expected to release a new 7-inch Kindle Fire with a higher resolution screen for $199, which would push the current model to an even lower price of $149, according to a new report.

Citing sources in the upstream supply chain, DigiTimes reported on Friday that Amazon is "considering launching" a new lineup of Kindle e-book readers and tablets at the start of the third quarter of calendar 2012. Among those products is said to be a new 7-inch Kindle Fire with a screen resolution of 1,280 by 800 pixels, priced at $199.

That could prompt Amazon to sell another 7-inch model with similar specifications to the existing Kindle Fire, including an identical screen resolution of 1,024 by 600, at a price of $149. The new, less expensive Kindle Fire is seen by insiders as an attempt by Amazon to expand its market share.

Amazon was previously said to have been working on larger Kindle Fire models withs screen sizes of 8.9 inches and 10.1 inches that would be launched early this year. But Friday's report indicated those plans have changed, alleging that Amazon has halted development of the 8.9-inch model, while the 10.1-inch variety is said to be scheduled for release in the fourth quarter of 2012 or the first quarter of 2013.



When it debuted late last year, the Kindle Fire got off to a strong start, and became the No. 2 most popular selling tablet, behind only Apple's market dominating iPad. But demand for the Kindle Fire quickly collapsed, as customer satisfaction with Amazon's low-priced device was about half that of Apple's third-generation iPad, according to a survey from ChangeWave research released earlier this month.

Beyond the Kindle Fire, Amazon also reportedly plans to release a new 6-inch e-ink-based Kindle reader with an integrated backlight in the third quarter of 2012 at the earliest. Other e-book readers of other sizes are also said to be in the works for release later this year.
post #2 of 37

Danger here.

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post #3 of 37

All from a company built on 1.5% profit margins. Amazon is a house of cards.  If the wind shifts slightly, they are going to have massive losses

 

Simply turning the AC on in their warehouses has meaningful impact to their bottom line /s  

Windows survivor - after a long, epic and painful struggle. Very long AAPL

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post #4 of 37

With Asus and Google coming out with much faster dual core 720p models for $199, I am not sure why anyone who wants a 7" Android tablet would buy a much slower, lower resolution product for $150.  I assume that the new $199 Kindle will be much faster as well and maybe higher resolution as well.  $99 would be a better price for this.

post #5 of 37
Loss leaders that require users to consume more to break even financially are high risk.

Even apple doesn't try lowering its margins (too much) to gain even more market share because it is clobbering the competition in market share AND being profitable at the same time. Instead, they innovate and invent things we wish existed (like 2048x1536 iPad displays or 2880x1800 MBP displays).

And people say that Apple is just industry standard parts in a pretty package.
post #6 of 37

Wow, new crap at the same price and old crap at a lower price. Of course most people don't buy crap.....

post #7 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eriamjh View Post

Loss leaders that require users to consume more to break even financially are high risk.
Even apple doesn't try lowering its margins (too much) to gain even more market share because it is clobbering the competition in market share AND being profitable at the same time. Instead, they innovate and invent things we wish existed (like 2048x1536 iPad displays or 2880x1800 MBP displays).
And people say that Apple is just industry standard parts in a pretty package.

 

Don't give Apple too much credit here. It's unlikely they invented those displays. They may have specified they wanted in displays by providing specifications and manufacturers responded with what they can do at what price, or the opposite, manufacturers said they can make these kinds of displays at a certain price and Apple snapped them up. Apple may be leveraging their purchasing power and may be the only company that can order enough of these units that everyone in the supply chain can make a little bit of money. As soon as the manufacturers get the process going and are able to mass produce them at a cheaper cost, you'll see more and more machines with similar high-density displays. In this aspect, Apple is in a way an industry parts bin re-packager, but they are the ones that push the latest technology forward because they have the money and the guts to do so.

post #8 of 37

Fire sale.

 

They're just putting a positive spin on it, that's all. (When/if they start to report actual sales numbers, they'll gain more credibility).

post #9 of 37
Quote:
The new, less expensive Kindle Fire is seen by insiders as an attempt by Amazon to expand its market share.

Wow. What a stunning ploy. Hats off to the geniuses who figured that one out.
post #10 of 37
Next stop, they'll come free with every purchase over $100!
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From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
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post #11 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by OriginalG View Post

 

Don't give Apple too much credit here. It's unlikely they invented those displays. They may have specified they wanted in displays by providing specifications and manufacturers responded with what they can do at what price, or the opposite, manufacturers said they can make these kinds of displays at a certain price and Apple snapped them up. Apple may be leveraging their purchasing power and may be the only company that can order enough of these units that everyone in the supply chain can make a little bit of money. As soon as the manufacturers get the process going and are able to mass produce them at a cheaper cost, you'll see more and more machines with similar high-density displays. In this aspect, Apple is in a way an industry parts bin re-packager, but they are the ones that push the latest technology forward because they have the money and the guts to do so.

I think a lot of credit should go to Apple. Clearly they aren't component manufacturers and so have to rely on others but they are the ones driving these big leaps forward. In an industry where there's an if it's good enough that will do attitude it is nice to see somebody making progress. Display technology in notebooks hasn't really changed in years, and any slight increase in resolution was created just to beat somebody else on a spec sheet rather than actual giving benefit to the consumer. Apple has always had the approach that they don't do things just because they can or it is technically possible, there needs to be a real benefit to the end user, and equally they won't put out something that isn't up to their standard because it's the easy option.

post #12 of 37

AMZN should just make it out of silly putty -- and let the user stretch it to any size he wants.

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post #13 of 37

Apple is indeed driving tech forward and taking the risks and/or rewards. Even when they were at the brink, SJ put it on the line with see-through colored iMac enclosures---vs blah beige. May not sound like much today, but then it turned the industries heads. If indeed Samsung & LG are the component manufacturers of the retina display, and Samsung is a direct competitor to boot, why didn't they launch first?

 

Most large companies typically play a conservative role and let smaller companies take the risk and when it's proven viable, swoop in and either buy them out or copy their ideas and out muscle them with entrenched distribution channels, sales and marketing. Apple is still operating with entrepreneurial vigor--in spite of their massive size! And for that, along with choosing NOT to cut corners or lead by eliminating components, they deserve all the credit due.     

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post #14 of 37

Sometimes I wonder whether the existence of this low end tablets market is not a benediction for Apple, because :

 

1) all actors on this sector will kill themselves, by competing on price, as it is the case on the PC market. None of them will be able to get a decent profit margin, enabling any innovation

 

2) the users of those tablets (and , even more important, their kids) will be heavily frustrated, and will regard Apple products a a dream to reach for the future

 

3) this "competition" will enable Apple to avoid being regarded as an almost monopolistic actor on this market

post #15 of 37

You guys are missing the point... put it this way...

 

1. USAGE TYPE

You travel, have kids, play some games, read books, watch movies, listen to music - the average tablet user right?

 

You walk into an Apple store and the price you see to do these things on an iPad is $499. 

You then walk into a Best Buy and see two models Kindle Fire from Amazon for $149 and $199. You like the $149 because the 7" size is easier to travel with.

 

After doing some research you find it all boils down - feature for feature to the processor and cam. You analyze your habits and find you won't be using a cam as you already have one on your phone and when demoing, the processor / response time of the units were comparable.

 

You question if $350 is enough to invest in an iPad versus Kindle fire.

 

Personally - I OWN an iPad, but after reviewing my usage types (all of the above)... the $300 premium I paid over a Kindle well... I'd rather had gotten the Kindle at this point.

 

2. WINDOWS 8 COMING IN THE FALL
As much as Apple fans dismiss Microsoft... Windows 8 IS going to be THE mobile platform that rivals iOS6. It has a faster feeling UI, is hardware agnostic, and it integrates with Microsoft products like the XBOX and Windows PCs. Tablets and PCs and Notebooks with Windows 8 will be priced from $199 and up to $1999. My point here is that Microsoft has designed an OS that is truly an entire ecosystem versus iOS and MAC OS X.

With more competitors in the market for tablets, Amazon needs to get prices and size options out there. And with the rumors of a 7" iPad also, Apple knows this too.

 

3. APPLE IS LOSING THE VIDEO ON-DEMAND WAR

In 2010, Apple commanded 70%+ of on-demand video through iTunes. Amazon? 1%. In 2011 Apple owned 30%+.

And Amazon? 40%+.

My point is here, is that, for people who consume a lot of information, video, music, etc. having MORE Kindle Fires out there is what Amazon wants. To do so against Apple, they have to lower the barrier of entry - in this case price.

 

There's a reason why stuff is so cheap at Amazon - they tend to offer the lowest price by keeping costs down. One of those is marketing costs.

Stuff at Apple, not to cheap, and sometimes, laughably overpriced (e.g. Look up Apple notebook memory). Apple wants to make money on everything.

 

Sure it makes for great quality wiz-bang stuff. But eventually, price to performance to value, that approach will stall them as faster, cheaper, and just as shiny stuff begins to compete in Markets.



 

 
 
post #16 of 37

I have a Fire, and the biggest issue is the screen resolution.  The device is fast enough to do everything I want to do on it.  Of course I got it at $139 refurbed, works great.  That said, I would not buy another Fire just because it has more resolution.  I would however buy a ~7inch iPad.  10 inches is just too many inches.  I just want a paperback size device, anything larger and I feel I should have out a laptop.

 

Of course, if I end up getting a Retina MBP 13 when it is released, then I will most likely get a Windows 8 tablet in the 7" spectrum at that point, just for diversity.

post #17 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by OriginalG View Post

Don't give Apple too much credit here. It's unlikely they invented those displays. They may have specified they wanted in displays by providing specifications and manufacturers responded with what they can do at what price, or the opposite, manufacturers said they can make these kinds of displays at a certain price and Apple snapped them up. Apple may be leveraging their purchasing power and may be the only company that can order enough of these units that everyone in the supply chain can make a little bit of money. As soon as the manufacturers get the process going and are able to mass produce them at a cheaper cost, you'll see more and more machines with similar high-density displays. In this aspect, Apple is in a way an industry parts bin re-packager, but they are the ones that push the latest technology forward because they have the money and the guts to do so.

So glad you cleared that up.

Leonardo da Vinci is in a way a commodity oil-paint re-spreader. He didn't invent the paintbrush, the paint or the canvas. Guess that makes the Mona Lisa worth only the components it is made from.
Edited by Suddenly Newton - 6/15/12 at 2:48pm

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post #18 of 37

I have an iPad but I also picked up a refurb Kindle Fire for $139 and I've brought it on two trips overseas rather than my iPad because it fits in my coat pocket when I'm out and about.  It was completely satisfactory and I even watched some Netflix over hotel wireless in Edinburgh at 3AM while dealing with jet lag and it looked great, more enjoyable than it would have on my iphone.   I could see Amazon offering the Kindle and/ Kindle Fire for free down the line for customers who have a history of buying a certain minimum of content through Amazon.  

post #19 of 37

"Beyond the Kindle Fire, Amazon also reportedly plans to release a new 6-inch e-ink-based Kindle reader with an integrated backlight in the third quarter of 2012 at the earliest."

 

...and I buy this on day one.

post #20 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by LuxoM3 View Post

 

2. WINDOWS 8 COMING IN THE FALL
As much as Apple fans dismiss Microsoft... Windows 8 IS going to be THE mobile platform that rivals iOS6. It has a faster feeling UI, is hardware agnostic, and it integrates with Microsoft products like the XBOX and Windows PCs. Tablets and PCs and Notebooks with Windows 8 will be priced from $199 and up to $1999. My point here is that Microsoft has designed an OS that is truly an entire ecosystem versus iOS and MAC OS X.




 

 
 

 

Wake me up when the Windows 8 tablets are here and can be compared.  Always the "promise" with Windows/WinPhone/Android/etc.  When the shipped product arrives, then the downsides are exposed and a real comparison can be made for battery life, screen quality, fit&finish, and other factors that a spec sheet does not cover. 

post #21 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by LuxoM3 View Post

You guys are missing the point... put it this way...

1. USAGE TYPE
You travel, have kids, play some games, read books, watch movies, listen to music - the average tablet user right?

You walk into an Apple store and the price you see to do these things on an iPad is $499. 
You then walk into a Best Buy and see two models Kindle Fire from Amazon for $149 and $199. You like the $149 because the 7" size is easier to travel with.

After doing some research you find it all boils down - feature for feature to the processor and cam. You analyze your habits and find you won't be using a cam as you already have one on your phone and when demoing, the processor / response time of the units were comparable.

You question if $350 is enough to invest in an iPad versus Kindle fire.

Personally - I OWN an iPad, but after reviewing my usage types (all of the above)... the $300 premium I paid over a Kindle well... I'd rather had gotten the Kindle at this point.

2. WINDOWS 8 COMING IN THE FALL

As much as Apple fans dismiss Microsoft... Windows 8 IS going to be THE mobile platform that rivals iOS6. It has a faster feeling UI, is hardware agnostic, and it integrates with Microsoft products like the XBOX and Windows PCs. Tablets and PCs and Notebooks with Windows 8 will be priced from $199 and up to $1999. My point here is that Microsoft has designed an OS that is truly an entire ecosystem versus iOS and MAC OS X.


With more competitors in the market for tablets, Amazon needs to get prices and size options out there. And with the rumors of a 7" iPad also, Apple knows this too.

3. APPLE IS LOSING THE VIDEO ON-DEMAND WAR
In 2010, Apple commanded 70%+ of on-demand video through iTunes. Amazon? 1%. In 2011 Apple owned 30%+.
And Amazon? 40%+.


My point is here, is that, for people who consume a lot of information, video, music, etc. having MORE Kindle Fires out there is what Amazon wants. To do so against Apple, they have to lower the barrier of entry - in this case price.

There's a reason why stuff is so cheap at Amazon - they tend to offer the lowest price by keeping costs down. One of those is marketing costs.
Stuff at Apple, not to cheap, and sometimes, laughably overpriced (e.g. Look up Apple notebook memory). Apple wants to make money on everything.

Sure it makes for great quality wiz-bang stuff. But eventually, price to performance to value, that approach will stall them as faster, cheaper, and just as shiny stuff begins to compete in Markets.

1) You'e missing the point if you think Apple is looking for customers that only look for a feature to feature comparison without any regard for the usability of those features. There is a reason Apple dominates profits and desirability in the PMP, handset, tablet and PC markets.


2) As r00fus stated, report back to use when it's actually making a dent. I think Win8 is a complete mess of an OS. It's x86 variant is too drastically different from previous versions to keep users interested and happy thus pushing them to Macs.

It's ARM variant is not HW agnostic in anything but name and the Metro UI. This is not HW agnostic as you will not be able to get an ARM-based notebook to run all the standard Windows apps one might have. Even if ARM can run it it still needs to be remade from the ground up for this OS you this is HW agnostic and then submitted to MS's app store. Can you not see how this is confusing.

Finally, It makes no sense to have an OS primarily for a touch input and one for a keyboard/mouse use the same OS. You don't get the best of both worlds, you get the worse. Add that to the other silly choices here and you have a perfect storm of boondoggle brewing.

I think this is all Balmer's doing. I would have called the ARM-based version with the HW-independent apps Metro OS and had an updated Window UI for Win8 with an option to show Metro for those that wanted it, but not make it the primary feature.

Also note that WinPh7 is a great OS... yet it's a market failure. Also note that Zune OS 2.0 was great... yet it was also a market failure. It's not enough to be good (and I don't think Win8 is good) you also have to be desirable. Do you think Win8 is desirable?


3) This makes even less sense than your other comments. Let's remember that Apple sells devices that does not lock out video content from non-ITS sources. Netflix has a great app for iOS. If you are suggesting that Kindle Fires are accounting for more video being watched than on iPads then go ahead and show some data. I wouldn't be surprised if per-device video on the Fire is higher but that's only because it's not really good at doing much of anything else. It's more tabletesque than an actual tablet. I hope Amazon can actually find away to bring a real player to market but it's not looking good at this point.

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post #22 of 37
Don't view Amazon's strategy as being focussed on Apple. The race for #2 in tablets is still open. Amazon is the only player that has ecosystem in place. So a credible offering from Amazon is enough to make them #2.

Maybe the Fire sucks now, but at some point even the cheap components will be more than good enough for what people want to do with the Fire. Amazon has to sustain its model till then, and build up critical mass.

Sometimes this forum has a mentality of looking at everything from a stance of what impact it will have on Apple. There is a world outside Apple as well. Amazon has more than a decent chance of winning the battle in that world.

That being said, I think we will soon see Apple lowering its margins and making a serious bid for even more marketshare - at least in some areas. Tim Cook being an operational genius indicates that. And Apple has a lot of history where they know how painful it can get once you lose the market share battle.

There are product areas where you can be a Louis Vuitton and do very well with low market share. But technology is entirely about network effects. Low marketshare does not work at all, even if you are massively profitable. This is the reason why I feel Tim Cook is the best CEO for Apple today - better than even Steve Jobs!
post #23 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by macarena View Post

Sometimes this forum has a mentality of looking at everything from a stance of what impact it will have on Apple. There is a world outside Apple as well. Amazon has more than a decent chance of winning the battle in that world

I don't think that's the case at all. The stories typically get presented that way before they even get to AI simply because Apple does have a dominate mindshare. It's usually about an iPod-killer, iPhone-killer, iPad-killer, etc. These are terms that people on this site tend to laugh at since it has historically meant the product will fail miserably.

There is likely a place for razor-thin or below cost tablets and if anyone here doesn't see it then they just the bargain PCs that come loaded with crapware to see the possibility. That said, that doesn't mean it will happen that way with the bargain PCs taking up th majority of consumer PC sales. We can look to the PMP market to see that Apple dominated because the object type and their efficiency made it difficult for anyone to compete even on the low end. Sure, there are some on the fringe but that's not the same thing.

PS: it's actually the iPod model that makes me think a smaller iPad (or large iPod Touch) are possibilities, but that's for another discussion.

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post #24 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post
PS: it's actually the iPod model that makes me think a smaller iPad (or large iPod Touch) are possibilities, but that's for another discussion.

Did you really just say. . .

 

smaller iPad!!??lol.gif

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post #25 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Did you really just say. . .

smaller iPad!!??lol.gif

In my defense I did qualify my statement and have never stated it wasn't possible. My stance is and always has been that it's simply not as advantageous as the cheaper iPods and iPod Touch from the iPhone for which it gets compared because a new display size requires a new UI, SDK, and app store, which is far beyond the effort the others.

I have always seen a business model for it if they can turn a healthy profit without hurting their 10" iPad sales and/or hurting their iPad brand in the process. It's the latter that makes me think a larger iPod Touch might make more sense.

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post #26 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Amazon is expected to release a new 7-inch Kindle Fire with a higher resolution screen for $199, which would push the current model to an even lower price of $149
...
That could prompt Amazon to sell another 7-inch model with similar specifications to the existing Kindle Fire, including an identical screen resolution of 1,024 by 600, at a price of $149. The new, less expensive Kindle Fire
So which is it?
They will drop the price of the current model and continue to sell it?
Or they will make a new, different model, identical to the current model and sell it for less than the current model (which will go away)?
post #27 of 37
They were already losing 20 bucks per kindle fire sold already. This can't be good for their bottom line.
post #28 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcdinkins View Post

They were already losing 20 bucks per kindle fire sold already. This can't be good for their bottom line.


 That always reminds me of the old joke:

 

"I know a guy who sells suite below cost." 

 

"Below cost?  How does he make money?"

 

"He sells a lot of suits."

post #29 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by asdasd View Post

Danger here.

To Amazon's bottom line.

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post #30 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by OriginalG View Post

 

Don't give Apple too much credit here. It's unlikely they invented those displays. They may have specified they wanted in displays by providing specifications and manufacturers responded with what they can do at what price, or the opposite, manufacturers said they can make these kinds of displays at a certain price and Apple snapped them up. Apple may be leveraging their purchasing power and may be the only company that can order enough of these units that everyone in the supply chain can make a little bit of money. As soon as the manufacturers get the process going and are able to mass produce them at a cheaper cost, you'll see more and more machines with similar high-density displays. In this aspect, Apple is in a way an industry parts bin re-packager, but they are the ones that push the latest technology forward because they have the money and the guts to do so.

 

Actually with it's money, Apple sends it's top end engineers to work with the suppliers, across almost the entire supply line.  I think it would be hard to find a part that did not have significant direct Apple engineering on it despite where it may be produced or assembled.  Sure the subs provide the entirety of the grunt work, but Apple is famous for telling other industries what is possible NOW and at what price point because Apple hired from the best engineers in those other industries.  Then it becomes a matter of getting the supplier to buy into the program and jointly engineering the final result at the lowest possible cost manufacturing process. And yes it helps to buy several years production capacity up front.

 

I guess that makes your assessment pretty hollow, because there are few other manufacturers that spend that kind of time with the subs.  Just because nearly everyone else does what you said does not make it the universal business plan of action.

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post #31 of 37

So Apple engineers spend a lot of time visiting with Samsung, sharing ideas for improving production, increasing yields and cutting costs? I've no doubt they appreciate Apple's assistance.

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post #32 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

So Apple engineers spend a lot of time visiting with Samsung, sharing ideas for improving production, increasing yields and cutting costs? I've no doubt they appreciate Apple's assistance.

I'm sure they do. The old adage "The enemy of my enemy is my friend" works for the common enemy, cost, too. Anything where Samsung and Apple can benefit from each other they'd have to be insane not to pursue.

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #33 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

So Apple engineers spend a lot of time visiting with Samsung, sharing ideas for improving production, increasing yields and cutting costs? I've no doubt they appreciate Apple's assistance.

 

How the hell do you think the A4 and A5 SoCs were developed?   A4 essentially started life as an ARM-based Samsung part and Apple reengineered it for exactly their own purposes.  One of the first shipping 3D RAM arrays attached to it.  A5 was even more customized.  I'm sure Samsung's semiconductor company is trying like hell to convince Apple to stay with them despite the consumer electronics company's follies.

 

Are you done eating that crow yet? 

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post #34 of 37

Why would I eat crow? I've no idea what you're going on about since we're both saying essentially the same thing.

 

Of course Apple assisted Samsung and I'm very certain that Samsung appreciates the assistance in expanding their own business.  I just hadn't thought much about how odd it was for Apple to give Samsung so much help until you brought it up.


Edited by Gatorguy - 6/19/12 at 3:16am
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post #35 of 37

Nice turn of face off a snarky post that it is obvious you were using as a sarcastic retort.  You cannot run away from your long term reputation and posting pattern.

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post #36 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiro View Post

Nice turn of face off a snarky post that it is obvious you were using as a sarcastic retort.  You cannot run away from your long term reputation and posting pattern.

You got it exactly right. It was meant as somewhat sarcastic, Apple assisting Samsung in creating products and methods to mimic their own. You don't see anything even the tiniest bit awkward  about that?  The facts is what them facts is. I'm not running away from it at all.

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post #37 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

You got it exactly right. It was meant as somewhat sarcastic, Apple assisting Samsung in creating products and methods to mimic their own. You don't see anything even the tiniest bit awkward  about that?  The facts is what them facts is. I'm not running away from it at all.

No, I don't see anything awkward about it at all.  Business makes for the strangest bedfellows.

 

With the really whacky conglomerate organization of Samsung the company that is in the legal fight with Apple is a different one with the same name as the silicon provider.   I'm sure Apple is making preparations to cut the Samsung cord, or at least position themselves to legitimately threaten Samsung with HUGE loss of profits should they do so, but not before they are positive that the Plan B preparations has graduated to Plan A abilities.  There are also some reported up front investments and production agreements that need to run their course before those tactics become legally viable.

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