A bit different: You can be successful and not be Apple

Not every business model is the same.

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You’ve heard that Microsoft is the new Apple and that Google is the new Apple and probably some other companies are the new Apple. Well, now the site that noticed you just bought a 65-inch HDTV and thinks maybe you’d like to buy some other 65-inch HDTVs is the new Apple.

Writing for The Motley Fool, Harsh Chauhan says “Here’s How Amazon Is the New Apple.. (Tip o’ the antlers to @JonyIveParody.)

The Macalope is so old he remembers when saying you were “so old” that you remember something that actually happened quite recently was a hilarious way to point out society’s collective short-term memory. Unrelated to that, though, let’s remember that it was just four years ago that Amazon introduced the Fire Phone.

What vaults Amazon to Apple status in Chauhan’s mind? It has its eye on dominating the smart-home market, just as Apple dominated the smartphone market. Except, of course, Apple never dominated the smartphone market by pushing as many units as possible at a low cost in order to make it up in other purchases within its ecosystem, it did it by leading with the best design and charging a premium price.

Strategy Analytics estimates that the global smart-home market was worth $48 billion back in 2014, when there were 83 million households with smart systems. By 2025 the number of households with smart-home systems is expected to jump to 293 million…

So, in seven years the smart-home market will be big, but not nearly as big as the smartphone market. A market that Amazon couldn’t even compete in.

Amazon is on track to attack this opportunity by creating an ecosystem of smart-home products based on the Alexa virtual assistant and the Echo smart-speaker devices.

Many of these smart-home devices are controlled by the Echo! The Echo is very popular! Therefore Amazon is the new Apple.

Yeah, back up a bit on that crazy math, Pythagoras. Because if we’re counting winners by units sold, it’s interesting to note that Apple has sold more Watches than Amazon has sold Echos. So that would mean that Apple is the new Apple. Just a few years ago, before Apple introduced the Watch, everyone was screaming about wearables and how that was the big market that Apple was missing out on. Now that Apple dominates it, they’re on to the next shiny object.

So, who cares about the best-selling smartwatch? The power move is in smart microwaves. No pun intended.

For instance, Amazon recently launched a range of new products to dive deeper into smart homes, including a $60 microwave. This appliance is set to go on sale in November, and it looks like consumers have already signaled their approval -- it is the best-selling countertop microwave on the e-commerce platform.

It might have been the best seller for a while, but it doesn’t appear to be anymore.

Let’s take a look at that unevenly heated piece Chauhan links to there because it offers a glimpse into the wild and wacky world of Amazon fans and makes Apple fans seem tame by comparison.

What’s to love about a microwave that can listen to you all the time?

The price point makes it an impulse buy

Who in this entire, ever-expanding universe impulse buys a microwave?

Turns out, the author of the article about this microwave probably, as long as it has an Amazon logo on it.

I'm an accidental collector of Amazon gadgetry. The hardware just clings to me during the checkout process, and before long, I find myself in a home with an original Echo, Dot, Echo Show, and more Fire tablets than I'd care to count.

The doctors say I have a problem. But they’ll see. They’ll all see.

Decor-bent fashionistas are rightfully proclaiming the new Amazon microwave as an eyesore…

Haven’t they heard Amazon is the new Apple?

However, the svelte countertop nature of Amazon's entry is that it can fit in many other rooms. Why not keep a smart microwave with a stash of microwave popcorn bags nearby in the room where you do the most TV viewing.

First of all, because microwave popcorn is gross. Second, because the Macalope is an adult. Are you living in a frat house?

The Macalope would suggest we try to unpack the logic there but you can’t unpack a brick. It’s just a brick all the way through.

“People rightly say this thing is ugly. Why not put one in your living room?

At $60, we're talking about the price of a video game for a fully functional microwave.

At that price, why not build a fort out of them? Heck, why not build your whole house out of them? Just don’t name one of your kids “Alexa.”

Amazon is an incredibly successful company. It doesn’t have to be the Apple of anything because being the Amazon of Amazons is terrific. To say that it’s the new Apple is to misunderstand both companies. Amazon does a good job selling things, partly by incentivizing people to be in their ecosystem by making cheap devices that enhance it. The horny one doesn’t know if you’ve looked at iPhone prices lately, but that is decidedly not Apple’s business model.

  
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