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Google's $249 Laptop: Can It Really Hurt Apple?

That's just what I want to see -- a race to the bottom. Who can produce the cheapest cotton T-shirt that will shrink after one wash?

There's something to be said about paying a premium for a quality product and user experience.

We have two Kindle Fires in our house. The second we entered an iPad into the relationship, our collective use of the Kindles decreased dramatically. It's the tablet one of us uses when somebody else is hogging the iPad.

From an investment perspective, the last thing you want to see is a company such as Apple -- one that makes its money selling hardware -- squeeze margins on the count of some battle it really doesn't need to fight.

That's why a low-priced ($199, for example) iPad Mini concerns me. Why kill your margins and skimp on quality and specs, all in the name of countering Amazon's subpar Kindle? It makes no sense.

Marketshare means nothing if it sacrifices key aspects of your business and/or does not drive revenue for core streams.

Apple recognizes this. And, while Microsoft might pay some attention to Google, I don't expect Apple to suffer. Just because a name such as Google produces the latest low-priced device doesn't mean it's not a cheap knockoff.

At the time of publication, the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned in this article.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

Rocco Pendola is a private investor with nearly 20 years experience in various forms of media, ranging from radio to print. His work has appeared in academic journals as well as dozens of online and offline publications. He uses his broad experience to help inform his coverage of the stock market, primarily in the technology, Internet and new media spaces. He has taken a long-term approach to investing, focusing on dividend-paying stocks, since he opened his first account as a teenager. Pendola, 37, is based in Santa Monica, Calif., where he lives with his wife and child.
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