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TheStreet Open House

Why Jeff Bezos Will Always Be a Winner and Tim Cook Will Always Be a Loser

As companies, Amazon has incredible focus (thanks to Bezos). Apple, no matter how much it attempts to front with sappy commercials (to bide time) and whiny proclamations about Phil Schiller's ass, lacks a clear view of where it's headed. The what, why and how of Apple's road to nowhere even treads in murky water.

There's no mystery at Amazon. Just about everything it does serves one primary goal -- to be the undisputed e-commerce leader. That's it. Jeff Bezos tells you outright -- we're not a hardware company or a software company. Anything we do in those realms is a means to our ultimate, clearly-stated end. Bezos has been shooting straight with anybody who bothers to ask about Amazon's strategy since 1999. It's no wonder people with lots of cash believe in the guy.

Meantime at Apple, Tim Cook strings himself and shareholders along with this fantasy that his company is a software company. Instead of furthering Steve Jobs's legacy he urinates all over it, opting to play silly software and service games rather than build beautiful pieces of hardware.

Apple TV provides a prime example. Cook has no idea how to proceed here. So now, according to a report, he's fixing to ensure 2013 really does end up the year of the copycats. He's following in Roku's footsteps by trying to become a conduit for cable television.

Bottom line: Apple's future does not lie in content; it lies in hardware. We do not go to Apple because of its software and services. We do not go to Apple because of the content it delivers. We use iTunes almost by default. By and large, we use apps developed by others -- not Apple -- on Apple devices. And the content the company sells doesn't derive meaningful revenue, nor does it keep people hooked on Apple devices as some would have you believe.

Apple's great devices keep people hooked on Apple's great devices.

For the time being, the power, glory and genius of Jeff Bezos keeps people hooked on Amazon. As the company continues to execute its master plan on the road to world e-commerce domination, the few folks who actually bet against Bezos will continue to feel pain.

-- Written by Rocco Pendola in Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, Maryland

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