The truth about Apple vs. Amazon

Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos set out to dominate the world, not each another.

By TheStreet Staff Dec 4, 2012 1:43PM

Image, Delivery copyright George Doyle, Stockbyte, Getty Imagesthestreet LOGO

By Rocco Pendola


The Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend went something like this: Consumers used their Apple (AAPL) iPads to shop online at (AMZN).


Despite this, "people" -- namely the media -- continue to push this meme of fierce competition between Apple and Amazon. Think differently. Think harder. Just think.


You know the numbers:

  • Cyber Monday online sales increased year over year. comScore says the increase was 17%, while IBM (IBM) reports a pop of more than 30%.
  • comScore estimates $1.465 billion in Cyber Monday sales -- the biggest day ever in online spending and the second day this season to cross the $1 billion mark. The other day was Black Friday 2012.

But the real story wasn't revenue. More people used mobile devices to shop online than ever before. And the common component of that theme: Apple devices dominated mobile shopping traffic, helping Amazon extend its e-commerce dominance.

  • iPad accounted for 90.5% of tablet traffic on Cyber Monday. Amazon's Kindle came in at 2.6%. The top online destination:

I don't blame Apple and Amazon for feigning a heavyweight fight.


Think about it: If the two baddest dudes in the place drop the mitts and go at it, everybody stands back, forms a circle around them and watches the epic showdown. There's always some stupid drunk guy who wanders into the middle of the fracas and ends up with a bloody nose and bruised ego.


But, by and large, you watch because you know there's nothing you can do.


Apple and Amazon rule the world in tech and in commerce. They not only do this individually, they do it together. While there might not be an unofficial official agreement between the two companies (though it would hardly surprise me if there was one), it's unspoken.


That's how warriors who love and respect one another roll. Sadly, I cannot provide a recent example from the sport that lives and dies by unwritten codes -- hockey -- but you catch my drift.


Beyond beautiful hardware, an incredible software ecosystem and digital content, Steve Jobs was not "dumb" enough to get into some pointless peeing match with Jeff Bezos. On the flip side, Bezos realizes that Amazon cannot compete meaningfully in areas where Apple dominates. For goodness' sake, compare the Kindle Fire to an iPad and "Silk" (that's Amazon's mobile browser) to Safari.


Do you actually believe, with a straight face, that Bezos came armed with Kindle Fire, Silk (and Android) to take on Jobs' gadgets, platforms and iOS? Like Jobs, the guy transformed the way much of the world lives, yet so many people take him for a dolt, an idiot, a tool.


That's what happens when your stock sports a price-to-earnings ratio of 3,000: Tortured hordes of envious bears love to mindlessly dog you, as I wrote on TheStreet.


Get it straight: Apple is good for Amazon. Amazon is good for Apple. Both companies know this.


Amazon's recent "attack" on Apple -- the one where it illustrated at how much "better" the new Kindle Fire lineup is than iPad -- was a smokescreen. It's meant to intensify this notion of a grand battle.


Jobs -- his role now played somewhat admirably by Tim Cook -- and Bezos are just fine dictating the flow of a world where Microsoft pokes in the dark, embarrassing itself with repeated failed product launches. A world where Google (GOOG) does nothing but take up hobbies and undercut on price.


Consumers will continue to use Apple products to buy Amazon merchandise. Both companies could not be happier with that comfortable status quo.



More from

Dec 4, 2012 8:06PM
Ummm, wow.  Nothing like a little unabashed Apple fanboy propaganda without having to give respect to the real Apple competition, Google and Samsung.  Also, poking in the dark is a clever euphemism for owning most of the market share for business and home computing when referencing Microsoft who, yes has embarrassed themselves with the Zune and the like, but they are not hardware providers so they should stick to what they do which is software.  Comparing apples and oranges with Apple and Amazon; one is a hardware provider and one is a content provider.  The content provider provides a device to funnel traffic to them but it is not something they live and die on.  There has never been an Apple and Amazon "war" or "rivalry."  As this is the money section of MSN I guess it can be forgiven.  I just hope the tech section of MSN actually has writers who are knowledgeable about technology.
Dec 4, 2012 9:48PM
Yes because they should be embarrassed by the surface (being sarcastic in case you can't tell), which I would rather own than an ipad...

Oh and I love my kindle fire, I go nowhere without it!
Dec 5, 2012 12:42PM
Appl needs a new CEO instead of a clueless CEO.
Dec 5, 2012 12:53PM
Cookie is totally clueless,  he is mismangement personified.
Dec 5, 2012 12:44PM

Mr. Steve Wozniak do you want aapl the company you invented to poof out of existence.

Take your shares and make yourself CEO, aapl needs you.

Dec 5, 2012 8:08PM
Interesting Amazon article.  Have you heard of the 'social selling' trend? 

I found this site and love to sell on it - it's sort of like an 'Ebay/Etsy of Pinterest'.  It's called SellPin.  - no listing fees and your item stays up/pinned on Pinterest until it sells.
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?


Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.


StockScouter rates stocks from 1 to 10, with 10 being the best, using a system of advanced mathematics to determine a stock's expected risk and return. Ratings are displayed on a bell curve, meaning there will be fewer ratings of 1 and 10 and far more of 4 through 7.

125 rated 1
267 rated 2
455 rated 3
612 rated 4
682 rated 5
695 rated 6
632 rated 7
472 rated 8
279 rated 9
147 rated 10

Top Picks

TAT&T Inc9



Top Stocks provides analysis about the most noteworthy stocks in the market each day, combining some of the best content from around the MSN Money site and the rest of the Web.

Contributors include professional investors and journalists affiliated with MSN Money.

Follow us on Twitter @topstocksmsn.