(Update: I thought I should note that this was posted at 7:40am and was intended to be tongue-in-cheek – Steve Jobs was still alive.)
I’ve long thought that RIM, Palm, HTC and countless others are making a serious mistake in making the carriers their primary customers. The handset manufacturers live on the carrier subsidies – make no mistake, RIM sells to carriers, not you and me. Palm blew a unique opportunity to dodge left and sell a carrier-free handset when it introduced it’s Pre. They didn’t, and the rest is history.
From the vaults, June 11, 2009. Summary: Palm had an opportunity to sell a carrier free unlocked handset and didn’t.
Don’t these people have anything better to do? (details here and here)
Marc Andreesen thinks so, “”Ten years ago, it was a joke: you’d raise $20 million in venture capital and write a $4 or $5 million check to Oracle, Sun, BEA, and EMC….When it started, Salesforce looked like a toy compared with Siebel. Look ahead five years later, it’s obviously better. Not a single one of our startups uses Oracle.”
Reading the stories about the Kindle Fire this morning, I think Amazon might have a real shot at capturing some real market share in the tablet segment.
Not because of the hardware configuration – better options exist elsewhere. Not because of the software and features – again, both exist in better form elsewhere.
Distribution and Operations.
Apple has been successful with the iPad not because they invented the iPad, but because they have the right business model. Design + Technology + Manufacture + Distribution + Sales + Marketing. And they are great with each.
Amazon already very nearly does many of these things. They already have awesome Distribution + Sales and their Marketing is quickly coming up the curve. They are weak in the area of Design + Technology + Manufacture, but not nearly as bad as what we’ve seen from RIM, DELL and others. Amazon can definitely improve in these areas, and press reports lead me to believe that they are worried about the right things – learning the lessons they need to learn quickly to be competitive in the right time frame. Amazon’s track record with distribution and operations is nearly as outstanding as Apple’s.
Here’s a crazy thought. Amazon has a market cap double HP and nearly quadruple DELL. If Amazon can make a dent in the tablet market, I wonder what they could do in the mobile market with the assets of either of those two companies. Google buying Motorola might just well set the stage for a round of dizzying mega-consolidations.
Never underestimate the power of distribution.