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Why Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos Hates The “iPad Killer”

If you ask Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos whether he’s creating an “iPad killer,” you’re going to get an earful.

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What product is going to be the iPad killer?

Consumers and bloggers alike can’t stop asking that question. Search for “iPad Killer” on Google and you’ll return 778,000 results. From the BlackBerry Playbook to the slew of Android-based tablets like the Motorola Xoom, hardly an article about the space can be written today without wondering whether it’ll have any impact on Apple’s dominance in the market.

And an “iPad killer” was certainly on the the mind of one audience member, at a Consumer Reports event Wednesday, who asked Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos whether the mega-retailer was planning to make its own tablet to finally take down Apple. Bezos, in a calm manner, couldn’t wait to answer the question–but not because he was ready to say Amazon was indeed creating an iPad killer.

Rather, Bezos wanted to use the opportunity to urge us all to stop using the term “iPad killer.”

“Most business is not usually like a sporting event,” he said. “It’s very common to read blog or newspaper headlines, and the words “X Killer” is very, very common. I assume because it works–it must get more clicks.”

But in real life, he added, industries usually rise and fall together. When it comes to competing products, however, success isn’t always so black and white. “In a sporting event, there really is a winner and a loser,” Bezos explained. “I think in business people use that metaphor–the sporting event metaphor is ingrained in us.”

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“Any kind of new product introduction, probably the company is not hoping to completely kill any other company,” he said. “They’re hoping they can be part of something big.”

As for a potential Amazon tablet, Bezos specified that he could not speak about future plans. Still, that didn’t stop us from working “iPad killer” into our headline.

Follow @fastcompany on Twitter.

Read More: Most Innovative Companies: Amazon

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About the author

Austin Carr writes about design and technology for Fast Company magazine.

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