Amazon Slams iPad mini

Discussion
Oct 30, 2012

When was the last time you saw a retailer go out of its way to malign a product it sells? If you hurry and click on Amazon.com, you will be able to see a homepage dedicated to the proposition of making the Kindle Fire HD look good and the iPad mini appear as though it is Apple’s unscrupulous way of getting you to part with your money. (Technically, Amazon isn’t selling the mini, although it does sell at least some Apple products directly as well as from third-party suppliers.)

The site, which includes the message "Much More for Much Less." also includes a quote from a Gizmodo article (sans link) that concludes the Kindle Fire HD is superior. That said, the author of the review is split on various attributes of the two tablets and makes recommendations for one over the other depending on a variety of criteria. As with most comparative reviews, a grain of salt needs to be sprinkled with each reading.

Apple’s new product has clearly gotten the attention of Amazon, according to MarketWatch. Last week, the company sent out a survey to a small number of customers seeking to determine if they found the relative attributes of the Kindle Fire HD to be superior to those of the mini. It’s a fairly standard research practice for consumer brands facing new competition.

"Maybe they want to get a sense of new features that would be of the most interest," consumer advocate Edgar Dworksy told MarketWatch.

What do you think of Amazon’s response to the launch of the iPad mini? Do you expect both products to do well or will one greatly cannabalize sales of the other?

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9 Comments on "Amazon Slams iPad mini"

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Ryan Mathews
BrainTrust

I think — with the notable exception of the current presidential campaign — that you always attract more customers by talking about why your product is best, not why another product is so bad.

The answer to the second question depends on the time frame. In the short term all tablet products will do well but the market is going to quickly get rationalized.

Paula Rosenblum
BrainTrust

Well, as observed in the article, it’s a pretty classic marketing technique – comparing the 2 products based on what yours does better. I’m thinking about the Honda commercials about “buttons.”

Obviously, Amazon makes more gross margin dollars on Kindles than it does on iPads, so I’m not all that surprised. It’s an interesting twist on the common theme of private label product in department stores and supermarkets vs. name brands in the same stores.

I do think the pricing on the iPad mini is a mistake, but then I totally underestimated the appeal of the original iPad. Do I think they’ll cannibalize each other? I think it’s 2 different buyers, and Apple was never going to get those people looking for a low priced machine.

Joe Nassour
Guest
Joe Nassour
4 years 9 months ago

Both the products will do well. Apple will sell to people that only buy Apple products and Amazon will sell to the rest.

It’s just like Republicans and Democrats.

Gene Detroyer
BrainTrust

Amazon did exactly what any good marketer should do. They have advantages and they are tauting them. Go to Amazon.com, it is a perfect presentation. I am not buying, but now mini must convince me that they are offering something more for the $200 difference.

Steve Montgomery
BrainTrust

Providing a list of attributes that demonstrates your product is the best has been a feature of advertising for a long time. The question is does the advertiser want to list all the features the other devise has that theirs does not.

The typical answer is no and that is what The Unofficial Apple Weblog says happened in the Amazon ad. Then again the Kindle device is $130 or 40% cheaper. The buyer has to decide if the difference is worth it. Some will say yes and some will say no.

Tom Redd
Guest

What we are seeing is good old pure retailing – “buy my product – not theirs”. With this type of aggressive selling Amazon is pushing to work people away from the brand of Apple and not just away from the mini.

Good old retail attacks. Good to see because it is good for the shopper – especially with holidays around the corner.

Camille P. Schuster, PhD.
BrainTrust

There is a long tradition of this kind of comparison advertising in the U.S. It may or may not be enough to keep consumers who were thinking of purchasing the iPad Mini over the Kindle Fire from doing so. However, it may well increase some ill will between the companies.

Ed Rosenbaum
BrainTrust

Seems this is a reminder of the TV ads we are being blasted with. No mention about why I am the better candidate. Only why he/she is not a good choice. How fast can next Tuesday arrive? Not fast enough!

Ken Lonyai
BrainTrust

I’m not convinced that the two tablets really address the same market. Sure there’s overlap, but I think each product taps a different market segment with different brand loyalties. So I believe Amazon’s shot will at most, sway a few fence-sitters and add confidence to consumers already planning a Kindle purchase.

Going after the mini is fair game with little risk of upsetting Apple. If Amazon did cause Apple to cut them off from their products, it would have a negligible effect on Amazon’s bottom line and might lend credibility to their Kindle claims.

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