It appears as though the Stock Market Gods have decided to throw investor a curve ball this week, after large triple digit drops last Friday and Monday the markets briefly rebounded on Tuesday and Wednesday before selling off again on Thursday and Friday.
All three major indexes are in the red this year, but according to the esteemed analysts the bull market is not yet over. How much I would trust these opinions though is a different story.
Out of the three major indexes the one that clearly takes the prize as the biggest loser is the Nasdaq which briefly fell below 4,000 in afternoon trading on Friday. The index that is mostly composed of Tech stocks is currently down over 2.7% for the year as investors wisely begin to rotate out of high flying tech stocks and instead begin to focus on undervalued companies with good fundamentals.
With that said as investors begin to make my predictions of late last year come true, large Tech companies like Google and Facebook continue to wage war over who will control the future of the Tech industry. Now another Technology player opens up another front in the 2nd Tech War, (the first one in my opinion occurred during the late 90’s) Amazon has declared war on Apple, and Samsung over who will control the smart console controlling your T.V and the ultra-competitive smart phone market.
Facebook and Google have headlines in recent months by making a number of high profile acquisitions that according to the management of those companies will give the two companies control over several important sub segments of the tech market, such as virtual reality or the smart home. (if you are interested in these acquisitions check out another one of my articles called Facebook and Google are going Head to Head over the Future of Tech)
But now Amazon has decided to enter the war, the online retailer has recently announced the new Amazon Fire T.V, a streaming device similar to that of the Apple T.V and the Roku 3. Yes Amazon the giant online retailer that already dominates your online shopping experience plans on controlling your T.V experience as well.
When you think about it the Fire T.V makes perfect sense for Amazon, the company already has a streaming service similar to that of Netflix called Amazon Prime. And although I am not a great fan of it myself it is still a perfect idea for Netflix to release a streaming device. Amazon now will provide content through a streaming service and the way to deliver it.
The tech war has just recently shifted to the TV as the major players try to supplement cable as the predominant form of delivering original entertainment. The race to replace the clunky cable box has led to Netflix becoming a major power in the Tech world and has led to tech companies creating small $100 streaming devices that connect to your TV and hence forth connecting consumers to a number of streaming services including Netflix, Hulu Plus, and HBO Go.
Every major tech company has built a streaming device whether it’s Apples , Apple TV, Roku’s smart box, Microsoft’s Xbox 1, or Samsung’s “Not So Smart TV” (I have one and I always have constant problems with it but that’s a topic for another time). Now Amazon joins the game, I personally have not got the chance to see how well it works but what I have read about makes me interested, perhaps Amazon might steal a significant share of the market from its rivals to make a difference.
Apparently though it does not seem that Amazon founder and C.E.O Jeff Bezos is content with being the online king of retail, emperor of Electronic books and the up and coming Prince of TV, he set his sights on the Samsung and Apple dominated field of smart phones.
Yes you read correctly Amazon is coming out with a smart phone, which is due to come out sometime in the 2nd half of the year. Amazon already has a line of tablets in its Kindle Fire, which has found success in the market place against strong rivals like Apple. This is probably because of Amazon targeting the lower end consumer, which has seemed to work out considering Amazon’s Kindle fires have been a he success.
Maybe this strategy of targeting the lower end consumer that has helped Amazon crack into the tablet market will help it succeed in the smart phone market as well? This strategy actually might work considering that aside from some 3rd rate competitors there is no real smartphone for the lower end market, aside from maybe the iPhone 5c which in my opinion is too expensive for the lower end market anyway.
If Amazon prices its new smart phones correctly it might seize a large size of the smart phone market, it might even cut into Samsung’s and Apples share of the market. From a business standpoint Amazon will probably not try to make money from the sale of the devices themselves but probably from the sale of content on them. This strategy has worked out well with the Kindle and Amazon is probably gaming on the fact that it will work out with Smart phones as well.
Unfortunately for Amazon the smartphone field has been littered with failures as smaller competitors try to take on the might of Apple and Samsung. For example Blackberry, once a strong rival was nearly put into Bankruptcy late last year, and Motorola was sold off to Google as sales plunged (Google has since sold Motorola for a substantial loss). If Amazon does not play its cards right its venture into the smart phone market may go the way of Blackberry and Motorola.
But regardless of the past history of former smartphone makers, Amazon’s focus on the low end consumer might let the company avoid the fate of these companies. In terms of whether or not to buy Amazon stock, now that’s a different story.
Amazon stock by any means is not cheap, the stock trades at a triple digit P/E ratio of 529x and although a fly higher in 2013 if anything has been proven in the first 3 ½ months of this year is that 2014 is not 2013.
Stocks of internet companies have recently taken a beating as the Nasdaq goes through a bit of a correction during the past few weeks. Amazon stock its self is down over 20% so far this year. So if you plan on investing into Amazon you will have to beware of the volatility and personally I feel that Amazon stock, similar to that of Netflix is simply to expensive to invest into at this moment, especially with the current volatility in the market.With that said however even as tech stocks sell off the large players of Silicon Valley will continue to wage war buying up start-ups and competitors with Facebook, Google, Apple, and now Amazon all vying to win and take control of the future of tech.
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