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Apple Vs. Amazon: Don't Call It a Price War

Stocks in this article: AAPL YHOO AMZN GOOG

While the new Kindles up the ante slightly, Amazon still wants no part of Apple. The latest Kindle Fire models will do just what the original ones did -- not meaningfully impact iPad sales and drive Amazon's core revenue.

Almost every story written post-iPad mini launch says the price might "surprise" you.

Is the media kidding us?

Why would the price surprise us? Does Apple have a reputation for price wars that I am not aware of?

Until yesterday, Apple didn't say a word about the device. It gave us nothing.

As usual, the media made assumptions and developed memes that most of the public uncritically accepted as fact.

Apple was doing a smaller tablet. It would likely compete on price with other 7-inch models. It would cost between $199 and $249.

Let's reiterate what happened here. Nobody had any real idea about what Apple was going to do. Nobody knew a thing because Apple doesn't talk to people. That next generation, regular-size iPad is really what should have taken us by surprise.

A majority of the media trusted intuition and went with whatever the echo chamber spit out. It snowballed from there.

And now, all of a sudden, we're shocked and surprised that Apple did what it did, even though this reality bears absolutely NO association to what the media, particularly tech reporters and financial analysts, assumed Apple was going to do.

Given my long-term bearish view on Apple, you might think I would agree with some of the tripe analysts and other observers spewed after the mini announcement. Like this poor excuse for reaction from somebody named Trip Chowdhry at someplace called Global Equities (courtesy of Fortune:

Innovation at Apple is over... Just incremental improvements, nothing ground breaking. The best is over for Apple. iPad mini is playing catch up to Google Android, probably will have a mediocre customer adoption.

That's a textbook example of underestimating Apple. And it has nothing to do with relevant long-term concerns regarding innovation. At least not the ones I have.

What you have here is an analyst making a patently absurd statement: "iPad mini is playing catch up to Google Android." What is it catching up to? I don't understand how that's possible given the makeup of the tablet marketshare.

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