I’d say the likes of Google, Samsung, Microsoft, Asus, etc. are more concerned about Amazon than Apple is. Although Apple clearly competes with Amazon in a certain segment of the market (mainly content distribution), I think they have a complementary and symbiotic relationship in that they share many of the same customers – such as myself and the family.
Amazon is carving out a niche (albeit a big one) for itself as it has a business model that’s very unlike that of the aforementioned tech companies including Apple. It’d be amusing to sit in on a Samsung or Microsoft meeting about this Amazon announcement. They keep seeing the entry into the tablet market getting smaller and smaller. The thing is, they’ll have to beat Amazon first before challenging Apple and I just don’t see how they could do it.
After Apple’s ecosystem, the one that I frequent the most is definitely Amazon. For the family members that order everything from cooking wares to toys for the kids, Amazon means even more. I have an old Kindle that I still use frequently – especially for reading outdoors. I use the Kindle app frequently on the iPad as well although I’m about 50/50 between that and iBooks.
I’m an Amazon Prime member and I think Amazon offers a great value-filled ecosystem that no one else can match. For me, Amazon is very complementary to all the things that Apple offers. It sure beats having to rely on Google or Microsoft for anything and I’m glad that Amazon is keeping them at bay.
Apple could still dominate the tablet market while Amazon plays a secondary role of keeping virtually everyone else out. That being said, Amazon really needs to figure out on how to further expand in the international markets. That’s their key weakness. Apple could continue holding onto the great majority of the market share while Amazon serves a strong niche market while throttling the likes of Google, Samsung and Microsoft.
I don’t think Apple needs to match Amazon down to the dollar and every spec. They offer two different types of ecosystems. I’m sure Apple is observing Amazon very carefully, but Amazon can be more of an ally than a foe when they both consider Google a bigger and more important enemy to fight.