, Inc. is Taking on Apple

Amazon is giving Apple heated competition on numerous fronts -- and the competition is heating up.

Jun 23, 2014 at 3:00PM (NASDAQ:AMZN) has been aggressively investing in new products so far in 2014, and many of those product categories are directly competing with Apple. Amazon has in excess of 240 million e-Commerce customers and its smartphone launch will help it to generate more sales from them. Ultimately, Amazon is trying to grab market share from Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) in at least four categories including tablets, smartphones, music, and video content. 

Hardware push
The recent unveiling of its Fire phone intensifies the company's push into hardware and could potentially see healthy rates of adoption with innovative features such as Firefly, a recognition technology that will identify and inform the user about more than 100 million items.

In addition to the Fire smartphone, Amazon's Jeff Bezos stated that the company already has tens of millions of Kindle Fire tablet owners. The Kindle Fire HDX is a great tablet, and competes with Apple's iPad line. Apple saw its iPad unit sales decline 16% year over year in the last quarter, and the company cited channel inventory issues.

However, IDC stated that larger-screen phones and consumers keeping their tablets for longer time periods were the major contributors for a weaker than expected quarter for tablets. According to IDC, the tablet market in the first quarter of 2014 saw a 35.7% decline from the holiday quarter, and was up only 3.9% year over year.

This deceleration was across all the major OS and screen sizes, which indicates the year ahead could be challenging for tablets. But unlike Apple, Amazon makes most of its money from content sales and e-Commerce transactions on tablets, and is much more likely to weather future declines in the tablet market. 

In addition, Amazon launched Fire TV earlier in the year which competes with video streaming players like Apple TV, Roku, and Chromecast by Google.

Media content
Amazon also made huge strides in its efforts to grow media sales in 2014. Its North American media sales have lagged the company's total North American sales. In the last quarter, Amazon's North America sales grew 26% year over year, but media sales grew only 12% year over year. So that might have prompted the big investments in media content this year. 

Amazon launched Prime Music, which is an ad-free music streaming service for Prime customers. Prime Music already has 1 million songs available for streaming and competes with Apple's iTunes Radio and its newly minted Beats Music service. 

In addition, Amazon also added a large amount of video content on Prime Video over the last one year, and now has more than 40,000 titles, including a number of exclusive and original shows. And since iTunes is a major retailer of video content, the growth of Amazon Prime doesn't bode well for Apple. Numerous Amazon Prime customers will probably reduce their purchases of a la carte video content on iTunes because they are already available on Amazon Prime. 

Disrupting Apple?
Amazon has a very high customer satisfaction rate; the company has been ranked number one in the ForeSee U.S. Retail Index for nine consecutive years. Amazon is taking on Apple and could become a worthy competitor.

The recent investments in the Fire phone and Fire TV demonstrate the company's willingness to come-out with product features that are differentiated and more consumer-friendly. Amazon could steal a lot of share from Apple on many different fronts as the competition between the two intensifies.

Will Amazon compete with Apple's next smart device?
Apple recently recruited a secret-development "dream team" to guarantee its newest smart device was kept hidden from the public for as long as possible. But the secret is out, and some early viewers are claiming its everyday impact could trump the iPod, iPhone, and the iPad. In fact, ABI Research predicts 485 million of this type of device will be sold per year. But one small company makes Apple's gadget possible. And its stock price has nearly unlimited room to run for early-in-the-know investors. To be one of them, and see Apple's newest smart gizmo, just click here!

Ishfaque Faruk has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends and Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of and Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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