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Dear Amazon and Apple: It's time for a team-up

Dan Moren | July 20, 2015
I love team-ups. Whether it be the Avengers or Ed Exley and Bud White, there's nothing I enjoy more than that moment where a couple of at-odds, would-be heroes put aside their differences and instead work together towards a common goal.

The thin end of the wedge for the two to team up is already there: iCloud, for example, uses Amazon S3 in part for data storage. Granted, the other areas I'd love to see some Amazon-Apple synergy are a bit more far-fetched. I'm on record as an Amazon Echo fan, and it'd be great if Apple Music worked with that device (don't worry, I'm not holding my breath). Heck, if the Echo could even relay commands to my iPhone, that'd be great. (Wait: I wonder if Siri and Alexa could talk to each other? Or did I just invent Skynet?)

Collateral damage

There are, of course, obstacles to overcome before the two can truly learn to trust each other. Over the years, both Apple and Amazon have made forays into the other's core markets. Apple launched iBooks along with the iPad back in 2010, and while it may have done okay as a competitor, it also got smacked down by the courts for its illegal practices in attempting to disrupt Amazon's stranglehold. Amazon, meanwhile, tried to launch its own smartphone which, well, the less said about the Fire Phone, the better, probably.

The problem comes is that this competition has started making customers into casualties. To continue the superhero metaphor, Apple and Amazon are like Superman and General Zod in Man of Steel, throwing each other into buildings with little regard for the ordinary people running around.

For two companies that claim to be so devoted to delighting their customers, both spend an awful lot of time fighting these flag-planting, territory-staking turf wars, more concerned with wrapping the user up in their own ecosystems--where, like a luxury hotel, they'll want for nothing and never have to leave--that they lose sight of the bigger picture: Giving the customers what they want, not what the companies think they want.


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