Much has been said about Apple and their control of the tablet marketplace via tying up: component suppliers, suppliers and transportation. These moves effectively limit the amount of quick turn reverse engineering and production for me-too I Pad products. The moves give Apple a brilliant advantage coinciding with their product life-cycle strategy.
Folks like Target Stores are hinting at emulating this “exclusive” product strategy for different reasons and coming at it from a different angle with less control.
Perhaps most interesting is the move by Amazon to purchase Kiva Systems. Kiva is at the forefront of warehouse fulfillment automation. It provides a system featuring robotics which intelligently locate and transport needed products to “pickers” in warehouses run by Amazon companies such as Zappos and Diapers.com. Controlling; this set of technologies, the patents protecting them and the scientists who continue to tinker with system improvements give Amazon control on which of their would-be competitors will have access to these capabilities …and the low-cost, fast pick results that come from them.