Amazon announced the Fire Phone last week, and who would you turn to for analysis on what this means for Apple other than Rob Enderle?
No, really, who? Because whoever it is has got to be better. Even Jeff Bezos might give more subtle and nuanced analysis.
"How Amazon's Fire Phone Will Beat the iPhone in 3 Years" (no link naturally, but tip o' the antlers to The LeeBase).
OK, OK, OK. The Macalope hears you: "Rob Enderle has been utterly, fantastically, out-of-this-world wrong about Apple and the iPhone for what seems like the lifetime of 10,000 suns. Why would anyone bother reading a single solitary syllable of what he has to say?"
And that's all true. But the Macalope has a very good reason why we should take the time to hear Rob out:
Because it's funny.
See? Not so hard to understand.
No one could catch Apple when Apple focused on leading the market, but once Apple started focusing on competing with Samsung, passing it got far easier, and Samsung did it.
Let us review the facts: Apple's share of mobile phone sales is exactly where it's been for about four years, at least. Its share of profits is also where it's been for a while, at about 60 percent. So this myth that Apple has dramatically lost ground to Samsung or Android is just that. A myth.
Amazon launched its rather impressive Fire Phone last week ...
When the iPhone launched it was the Internet in your pocket. What Amazon launched was a shopping cart in your pocket. The Macalope supposes that's kind of impressive, but really only in ways that benefit Amazon, not the user.
Ironically, if the iPhone fails against the Fire Phone, it will be because Jeff Bezos is executing Steve Jobs' old strategy of focusing on building a great experience ...
Oh, phew! What a relief. Because the chances of that happening are nil. No, what Amazon is going to focus on is trying to get you to instant purchase more cans of creamed corn that you Fireflied at the grocery story. FEED YOUR INSATIABLE SHOPPING GOB, CONSUMERARIANS.
... while Tim Cook shifts Apple to price competition, as a result of his battles with Google and Samsung.
Such is the wisdom of Enderle: Amazon will focus on user experience, Apple will focus on price competition.
See?! The Macalope told you this would be funny!
One of the functions of analysts is to ...
Try to get quoted by as many careless journalists who don't look at your client list as possible.
... document how a leading product will be overcome by a competitor.
If you do it enough times, eventually you might be right!
What made the iPhone so successful when other screen phones were failing was that Jobs focused more on what the phone did and on the customer experience than he did on the device itself. The phone it was based on, the LG Prada ...
Oh, Rob. You're so adorable with your cheap shots.
Yeah, sure, Apple based the iPhone on a device that was revealed just four months before. The company wasn't working on a smartphone for years leading up to that, it just slapped the whole thing together in four months. Uh-huh. No, no. Go on.
This shopping experience is one of the Fire Phone's killer features ...
... and it should appeal to Kindle fire [sic] users, much like the Apple fans really embraced the iPhone first.
How many Kindle Fire users are there compared to the number of iPod users in 2007? Oh, right, no one knows because Amazon won't tell us how many Kindle Fires it's sold.
The other two killer features are the Mayday button, which is like having an Apple Genius in your pocket ...
How to create an easy-to-use experience according to Rob Enderle: Put a little person in the phone who explains how to use it.
... and the 3D display, which creates an "oh wow" sharable experience. Ease of use and the "oh wow" experience connected to the first generation iPhone were what allowed it to quickly dominate the market.
The "oh wow" experience of the iPhone was the ease of use. And it didn't involved a person explaining it to you; you could just tell how it worked.
No one could catch Apple when Apple focused on leading the market, but once Apple started focusing on Samsung, passing it got far easier, and Samsung did it.
How has Samsung done that exactly? It hasn't done so in profits and it hasn't done so in design. It has done so in units sold, but we already know that's not Apple's top priority and never has been.
Amazon won't beat Apple with the generation-one Fire Phone, and it likely won't do so with generation two. ... It is typically the generation-three product--assuming one and two have been successful--that steps out and begins to showcase the potential for dominance.
The Macalope loves how in all these stilted fan-fic pieces the competitor is always assumed to be moving forward while Apple stands completely still. "This phone isn't great. But the third version?! Oh, man! Gonna be so awesome. Apple will still be shipping the iPhone 5c then, probably. Or, well, I assume so. Seems likely."
Having set up this fictitious scenario, Rob now fictitiously concludes:
Amazon has demonstrated with the Kindle Fire tablet and its core shopping execution that it, unlike Samsung, is fully capable of leading this market, and once it's out in front, it will be nearly impossible to catch--unless it trips and falls.
Amazon, which won't ship its first phone for a month and then only on one carrier in the U.S., will lead the phone market. Because Apple's all about competing on price now.
That's analysis you can take to the bank. And, hopefully, lock it away in a airtight vault from which it can never again hurt a single soul.