Apple and Amazon: Perfect Complements to One Another

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- I have always scoffed at the notion of competition between Apple ( AAPL) and Amazon.com ( AMZN).

Even a sloppy glance at the week's headlines confirms the media's obsession with taking Apple down a notch. For the 307th time, another company's update -- this time Amazon's -- to its mobile device lineup could mean "trouble" for Apple.

Do the people who relay this type of sentiment really believe what they're saying?

The fact that a Samsung executive actually said "We've acknowledged that our (Galaxy) Gear (e.g., smartwatch) lacks something special" tells you all you need to know about Apple's alleged competition in mobile hardware.

It's crap like that you generally do not see from Apple. That's why it was so infuriating when Tim Cook botched Apple Maps. How can you call yourself "a software company" and fail so badly ... on software?

Thankfully, this is not the norm at Apple. While it won't make headlines, the Samsung bit there is, make no mistake, the story. But how does it relate back to Amazon?

I have a deep admiration for Jeff Bezos. So I would never say his hardware strategy stinks (it doesn't) or that the hardware Amazon produces is crap (it's not).

One major difference between Amazon and a poser like Samsung is that Amazon actually has a remarkable and thoughtful strategy. And it's not designed to compete with, counter or take on Apple; it's meant to complement the company (and maybe even compliment).

Jeff Bezos knows this. Steve Jobs knew this. And Tim Cook probably does as well.

Apple is better because Amazon exists and does hardware, just as Amazon is better because Apple exists and does things other than hardware.

If, largely because of Apple and Amazon, more people are doing things like shopping online, purchasing music online, streaming media online, having groceries dropped at their doorsteps and doing these things on mobile devices (primarily Apple mobile devices), Apple and Amazon both benefit. The two companies might feign competition if, for no other reason, the acknowledgement of an unofficial partnership like this would rile lawyers at places like Google ( GOOG) and Microsoft ( MSFT).

-- Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.
Rocco Pendola is a columnist and TheStreet's Director of Social Media. Pendola makes frequent appearances on national television networks such as CNN and CNBC as well as TheStreet TV. Whenever possible, Pendola uses hockey, Springsteen or Southern California references in his work. He lives in Santa Monica.

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