Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Amazon Strikes Back Against the iPad Mini: Has this turned into another campaign war?

by Debra Mares

When I recently opened the main page of my favorite online retailer Amazon.com, I was disappointed to read its bashing of the iPad Mini.  Amazon is striking back at Apple, claiming that the Kindle Fire HD tablet is superior to Apple’s iPad mini.  Reading this, I was left feeling the same way I do about our upcoming election -- upset, deflated and torn.  Afterall, I am a swing voter in our American Marketplace.  I am in that binder full of women.

Over the past couple years, I’ve grown to love Apple as much as I do Amazon.  And for the past few months I’ve been anxiously awaiting the iPad Mini.  For my recent birthday, my family gifted me with a Best Buy gift card to help make this happen.  Afterall, I’m a newly self-published author and have been looking forward to reading The Mamacita Murders, my debut novel ranking #2 in Amazon’s Legal Thrillers, on a tablet.

My choice to purchase the iPad Mini comes by no other reason than the quality of Apple products.  Anyone who knows me, would say I’m the last to conform to the masses or jump on the Apple bandwagon.  But it started when I bought the MacBook Pro to write my first novel.  I was sold on its resistance to internet viruses and long battery life.  Then admittedly, I got sucked into the Apple monopoly.  I wanted all my electronic products to sync without issue.  Next, I bought the iPhone after my trusted service-provider Verizon partnered with Apple.  Then, I bought Apple TV to reduce my cable bill.   

Like Apple, Amazon has equally provided me with a user-friendly platform, but in a different way.  Using its Kindle Direct Publishing services and Create Space partner, it enabled me to self-publish and distribute my novel The Mamacita Murders, garner 36 reviews and make it to #2 on Amazon's Legal Thriller list.  Amazon.com has also provided me with an easy way to shop online.  

The part I find most ironic about Amazon’s Apple bashing is that Amazon works directly in conjunction with Apple.  In early 2010, Amazon released a "Kindle for Apple Macintosh” application as a free download.  It allows thousands of books to be read on Apple devices in color, with no Kindle unit required.  E-books can simply be purchased from Amazon’s store.  

So what’s behind all the hypocrisy?  Money, politics & power of course.  It’s really no different from our upcoming election.  Earlier this year, five big book publishers conspired with Apple in an attempt to force Amazon to stop charging discounted prices for new e-books.  Coupled with the iPad Mini on the brink of its debut, it comes as no surprise that Amazon strikes back.  But it's still annoying and hypocritical.  It’s no different from politics.  Viva Apple!  Viva Amazon!  Viva 2012 Election!

What do you think?  Should Amazon have reacted so harshly to the debut of the iPad Mini?  Is it worth turning off swing customers and publishers like me?  I’d love to hear your comments.  Email me at Debra@DebraMaresNovels.com.