Like many, I was awestruck by the magnitude and audaciousness of Amazon’s new lineup of Kindles. There was, of course, what we all expected — the release of a higher-end device built upon Android. But we also got much more:
- An entire new line of Kindles with a range of price-functionality mixes that appeals to a much wider audience
- A new browser that firmly puts Amazon in the data-gathering game and Google in its sites
- A low-end rich media sell-through alternative for publishers to the iPad
With this week’s announcement, Amazon lays bare its strategy for the market, one in which it can become a true hardware player yet stay within its center of gravity as a dominant content and digital goods marketplace. In doing so, it utilizes a number of interesting and disruptive strategies that hit at its competitors’ weak points. The announcement also illustrates how Amazon often is playing a different game than the rest, operating two to three moves ahead of the industry. To use a sports analogy, it is skating to where the puck will be rather than where it is.
In this research note, I analyze the multiple ways in which Amazon has disrupted the digital content and personal computing space with this announcement.
- Expanding the tablet market through price subsidization
- Creating impulse-purchase behavior
- The first mass-market success story in thin-client computing
- Driving consumers toward higher-priced SKUs
- Pushing Amazon into the big data game
- Owning the of the lower layers of the stack: no longer necessary
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