A Fantasy Conversation: Bezos and Cook Chat About Amazon Echo

Tim Cook and Jeff Bezos.

Page 2 – News Debris For The Week Of May 1st
Good-bye satellite TV. Hello Apple.

Back in 2015, I surmised that one reason Apple failed in its efforts to negotiate a streaming TV package was that it wanted to offer for less what everyone else was selling for more. The result would be a popular service from Apple that cut rather than raised revenue for the industry. Not good.

This week Dish CEO Charlie Ergen reminded us of that and went on to predict that providers would be much smaller in the future. “Dish CEO Says Online TV a ‘License to Lose Money’.” Ergen said during his company’s fiscal call, “So satellite and cable will be smaller five years from now than they are today.” The handwriting is in the skies.

Related: “Young people spend about twice as much time watching Netflix as live TV, and even more time on YouTube.

Good-bye satellite TV. Hello satellite internet from Apple.

If Apple worked on building up a reliable, capable, secure internet service via satellite that covered the entire planet with a constellation of 1,000 low earth orbit satellites, the company would achieve something truly vast in vision, scope and opportunity. The future belongs to companies, like Apple, who have the dream, technical expertise and the money to do it right.

And that’s far better than squabbling for streaming content rights. Be the gateway.

More Debris

Car and Driver has a nice article on the Tesla Model 3, the Model Y and the Semi tractor. Currently Tesla is in “antisell” mode for the Model 3. Elon Musk: “No advertising, antiselling, nothing to test drive . . . still [reservations] grows every week.” See: “Tesla’s Musk Brags on Model 3, Gives More Details on Model Y and Semi.” Tesla still aims to build 500,000 cars in 2018 with some assembly at its at its giant “Gigafactory” in Nevada. Apple appears to have no such infrastructure, and it’s hard to imagine Apple being able to catch up at this point.

Tesla Model 3.
Model 3. Image credit: Tesla

Is Amazon’s Alexa a true artificial intelligence? It depends on how you define it, but this fellow has his doubts. See: “Amazon Alexa and Solar Panels.

The story above reminds me that we live in an age of advanced video hype technology driving the sales of products that feature unfulfilled promises. We’re constantly confronted with either half-baked technology or hidden caveats in the EULA that excuse the developer from delivering what was promised in the demo, um, the Youtube ad. This is why we are Apple customers.

When you find a book you want at the Amazon Kindle store, are you willing to wait for it on paper? With free overnight shipping? Or do you have to have it the next 30 seconds? Amazon may well be cashing in on your impulsiveness by charging more for e-books than their paper equivalent. (That wasn’t the vision a few years ago.) And that’s giving price-conscious people pause. So when you remind customers of the tactile pleasures of paper, the convenience, and the opportunity to get away from being glued to a small display, what could go wrong? Here’s what. “Real books are back. E-book sales plunge nearly 20%.”

Plus, I think many customers are beginning to appreciate how durable, long-lived, accessible and transferable real books are. As devices and technology change rapidly, it just doesn’t seem to make sense to acquire and manage a giant electronic library of e-books that goes poof when the owner’s account is cancelled. The industry only has itself to blame for this awakening by readers.

Finally, the subtitle says it all. “Today, running macOS on PCs isn’t just a way to avoid paying Apple’s prices.” Check out this article at ars technica. “Modern ‘Hackintoshes’ show that Apple should probably just build a Mac tower.

One item at issue here is that Apple, on the pro side, got so caught up with design that they forgot to cater to customers who depend on their Macs to earn a living. And so, the natural conclusion from my point of view is that when serious customers want to put macOS on great PC hardware, hardware that, for now, Apple isn’t delivering, the company should be (quietly) assisting those who want to build a Hackintosh.

And if that appears to be a pain-in-the-you-know-what, then hurry up and build truly awesome Mac hardware for pros. That way, no one ever has to even think about Hackintoshes.

You know. Like before.

Particle Debris is a generally a mix of John Martellaro’s observations and opinions about a standout event or article of the week (preamble on page one) followed on page two by a discussion of articles that didn’t make the tmo headlines, the technical news debris. The column is published most every Friday except for holidays.

2 thoughts on “A Fantasy Conversation: Bezos and Cook Chat About Amazon Echo

  • John:

    Fascinating fantasy conversation between Cook and Bezos. I have an alternative course for that conversation:

    Bezos: Just for fun. What would it take to get you to kill that project?

    Cook: I beg your pardon?

    Bezos: I’m not asking anything specific here; I’m just speaking hypothetically. What would it take to get you to, you know, ‘knife the baby’?

    Cook: I don’t speak hypothetical.

    Bezos: Seriously?

    Cook: Seriously. And the last time someone asked Apple that question, things didn’t end so well, so, no, you might as well be speaking Scandinavian to me.

    Bezos: Very funny. Okay, so let’s say that we finally deploy that Prime Video app to the Apple TV?

    Cook: Go on…I’m holding my hand to my ear so that I can hear what you’re really offering me.

    Bezos: Sheesh. Okay, you get the full 30 percent cut. And we’ll sell the Apple TV in the Amazon store again.

    Cook: Sounds great. For Amazon. You’re getting access to millions of new paying customers without having to develop the market on a secure platform that you don’t need to pay for, and you’re sweetening the deal for them by providing them easy access on your platform for buying into your ecosystem. I’d say you’re doing well for yourself. And your potential customers. And it might even offset the loss in sales we sustained to our iBookstore following the DOJ’s disastrous ruling – I think in your favour, if memory serves.

    Bezos: Touché. But think of the revenue you’ll be getting from that 30%.

    Cook: You mean that little set of project funds we get from our ‘Other’ category. I won’t pretend that we don’t like it. We do. Sincerely. But…

    Bezos: But what?

    Cook: That’s still modest revenue for Cupertino. Sorry. Here’s what I think this means.

    Bezos: I’m listening. I’ve got my hand to my ear…

    Cook: I think this is potentially the beginning of a new and potentially mutually lucrative collaboration in AI and smart technologies; think software and secure systems helping to power and protect your automated drone delivery services when customers use Siri and Apple Pay to order from Amazon.

    Bezos: Hmm. We’re pretty good at security, but not a bad idea. Let’s think about that.

    Cook: Indeed. Let’s.

  • Very funny John! As I commented on your podcast about this, my sense is you have the winning argument about Apple SiriLex but only time will tell. Next time you do this, have Bezos deliver a phone via drone that rings when Tim Cook picks it up!

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