亚马逊与苹果之间的竞争已经存在一些时日了。今年早些时候，亚马逊推出了专门销售Android应用的亚马逊应用商店（Amazon Appstore），而苹果马上起诉亚马逊侵犯了它的商标。（亚马逊则坚称“应用商店”一词不属于商标）。不久后，亚马逊推出了自己的云驱动（Cloud Drive）和云播放器（Cloud Player），这两项媒体存储服务都与苹果iTunes的发展计划相冲突。
过去的两周里，不仅苹果与亚马逊的竞争进一步升级，同时在输赢的走向上也有了更清晰的迹象。首先是亚马逊发布了自己的Kindle Fire平板电脑，许多人都说Kindle Fire可能是第一款真正能与iPad匹敌的平板，而iPad目前仍占据北美平板市场80%的份额。另外苹果表示它于今年6月发布的iCloud服务将于10月12日正式上线。
目前，这两家主要的数字内容零售商都在诱使用户将内容储存在云上，将同时加速iCloud和Could Drive的普及率。而在平板电脑方面，Kindle Fire看起来也完全不像一个“iPad杀手”，相对来说它更像一个精简版的iPad，主要瞄准低端市场，而把高端市场留给了苹果。
Now that Amazon and Apple are rivals, which one is likely to win? For the next few years, at least, the answer will be both.
The rivalry between Amazon (AMZN) and Apple (AAPL) has been emerging for some time. Earlier this year, Amazon launched the Amazon Appstore for Android apps, and Apple quickly sued for trademark infringement. (Amazon maintained the term was a generic.) Shortly after, Amazon unveiled its Cloud Drive and Cloud Player, two media-storage services that put it on a collision course with Apple's plans for iTunes.
The past two weeks have not only raised the stakes in the Apple-Amazon rivalry, it's also offered a clearer indication of how it may shake out. First, Amazon announced its Kindle Fire, a tablet that many are saying could be the first solid competitor to the iPad, which still holds an 80% share of the North American tablet market. Then, Apple said its iCloud service, announced last June, would ship Oct. 12.
Both companies aim to host your entertainment content in the cloud. Both have huge, loyal customer bases to start from. And now, both are selling tablet computers that their customers can use to buy and access millions of songs, videos, apps, games and magazines.
But the rivalry isn't likely to be a bitter, bloody one. Instead, it might prove mutually beneficial, at least for the next few years. Amazon's store and iTunes have competed for years with little detriment to either. (The same can't be said for Wal-Mart (WMT), however.) After Steve Jobs began publicly chiding music publishers, iTunes began offering DRM-free songs in April 2007. Amazon, following suit in May, made it that much harder for the labels to keep pushing for DRM.
Having two major digital-content retailers coaxing users to store their content in the cloud could speed up adoption of both iCloud and Cloud Drive. And in tablets, the Kindle Fire looks nothing like an "iPad killer." Instead, it's a relatively stripped-down version of the iPad, a tablet aimed at the low-end of the market, leaving the high-end open for Apple.