The headline is your typical click-baity BI stuff, but Henry Blodget’s post itself is worth a read. Well, aside from this part:
Apple is expected to introduce an “iPad Mini” next week, which will compete directly with the Kindle and Nexus, but it seems unlikely that this device will sell well if it is priced at, say, $299 (only $100 cheaper than the full-sized iPad). And if the iPad Mini is priced at less than $299, it’s tough to see how Apple will make much profit on it.
First of all, anyone following along even loosely would know that Apple is not expected to introduce an iPad mini next week. That would be next month.
Secondly, if you really don’t think Apple would sell a shit-ton of said devices at $299, you’re a fool. People want that form factor. (Though my money is still on a $249 price point.)
Thirdly, if you don’t think Apple will be able to turn a nice profit on such a device, you’re an even bigger fool. This is Apple, that’s what they do. No, it won’t be an iPhone-like profit, but no one is expecting that. That’s an anomaly thanks to carrier subsidies.
Aside from that, Blodget’s thoughts on what Amazon could do to disrupt the mobile space are good. For all the talk of Android being “free”, it hasn’t truly changed the U.S. smartphone game by driving down prices. The top of the line phones are still $200 - $300 after subsidy. If Amazon can nail hardware with all their Kindle work, they could really drive prices down — because they don’t care about making money on the hardware.
Unlike Google, which has no natural physical distribution channel, Amazon also has the ability to effectively market and distribute its tablets and smartphones. It doesn’t need carriers to do this, the way other hardware manufacturers do. This means that Amazon would likely be able to compete more effectively with Apple, especially if it offered a radically cheaper option.
That, I agree with.