Task #1 for Apple’s New CEO: Amazon Tablet

Apple’s new CEO Tim Cook was just welcomed with a goody bag filled with 1 million shares of his company’s stock. That was the easy part. Now he’s going to have to earn it.

But as much as he would like to focus on developing products envisioned by the retiring founder Steve Jobs (who will remain active in the company for as long as he is able), he may first have to shore up the iPad as it comes under fire from rivals seeking a share of Apple’s commanding market for the tablet computer.

In particular Cook will have to deal with Amazon, which is not only developing a tablet of its own but planning to offer it to consumers dirt-cheap.  Amazon has not concealed its strategy of selling its Android-driven gadget at a loss – hundreds of dollars below iPad’s base price of $499 – just to pull the rug out from its competitor, according to Garrett Sloan of the New York Post.

Amazon has a long way to travel to bite into Apple’s 25 million unit lead, but no observer of Amazon would bet against its coming up with a product, a price and a marketing campaign that could close the gap faster than anyone would believe possible. Maybe Jeff Bezos should name the new tablet Orange, to facilitate comparison between Apples and Oranges.

Details in $99 tablets: Price is right

Richard Curtis

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