What Amazon’s Fire means for Apple

Fortune

Nobody in their right mind is going to swap an iPhone for an Amazon Fire — a shopping machine that calls itself a phone, as Quartz’ Dan Frommer deftly put it.

That said, the smartphone unveiled by CEO Jeff Bezos in a Seattle warehouse Wednesday is a serious device that puts the business models of two tech giants in a new light.

“Apple and Amazon are much more alike than they are different,” Asymco’s Horace Dediu wrote last summer in an essay called The Anti-Apple. They’re both in the business of “delighting customers” in controlled, predictable environments with convenience and ease of use. They both have huge customer bases (800 million for Apple, 250 million for Amazon). And now they both sell smartphones. For roughly the same price.

The main difference is that Apple’s [fortune-stock symbol=”AAPL”] mission, as Tim Cook never tires of saying, is to make the very best products.

Amazon’s Fire doesn’t have…

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