AMZN) also did this with the Kindle, which is less a tablet and more an Amazon-only device -- the browser is deliberately terrible. But when you can get the price below $200, as Amazon has, you can move a lot of boxes. The result of failing to address the low end of the market, combined with rivals' decisions to go after it aggressively, can be seen in the market share data. As TrendForce reported, the saturation of the phablet market and the high price of the iPad Mini pushed Apple's second-quarter share of the total tablet market down to 35.5%, against 21.5% for Samsung, with a host of other Android names taking up what remained. This was a huge win for Google ( GOOG) Android operating system, which powers nearly all the market's small fry, as well as Samsung. Google is now trying to consolidate its advantage with the LG-made Nexus 7, which reviewers at C|Net compare very favorably with the Mini, along with the Moto X phone, produced by its Motorola division and backed by a $500 million ad campaign dwarfing anything Apple has ever done.
Usually, at this time of the year, we in the media are all breathlessly awaiting the next Apple press conference, speculating about what great new stuff the company is about to offer us. Instead, we're now watching to see which Apple executives walk the plank, and speculating about Google. The "cool" end of the market, the premium end, always responds in time to what is happening at the low or "value" end of the market. Just as Toyota made the Lexus possible, just as Chevrolet made Cadillac possible, so mass market success breeds class market profit. This is Business 101. Tim Cook's Apple, in its arrogance, ignored the lesson of history and is paying the price, in the stores, on the streets, and especially on Wall Street. At the time of publication the author was long AAPL and GOOG. Follow @DanaBlankenhor This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.