The Fire SmartPhone launch is just the latest escalation in the high-stakes battle for control of the increasingly digitized living room. And yes, this is absolutely a war amongst Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon and others, each looking to capture the hearts and minds of the consumer – and of course their pocket book.

In the short-term, this competition is definitely good for the consumer, with tens of billions of dollars being spent to lower prices, improve service, boost quality, etc. Long-term however, there are risks as each firm wants to lock you in on multi-levels (device, application, platform), so going to a competitor isn’t as easy as clicking on another website. That was Google’s standard (and correct) response when it faced desktop-oriented search antitrust questions. But the world has changed in just a few years. Each of these firms is building a bigger and more robust walled-in garden, with an increasing number of complementary and interconnected services/products, to lock in your wallet over many years to come.

My advice to the Angelbeat community is to relax, enjoy and try out many of these wonderful services and innovative products. Lots of free promotions and trial offers. But remain cautious as technology is changing at an ever-increasing rate – remember just a few years ago when the Motorola Razr was so hot? – and keep your options open. In the end content/creativity/design still wins out and you will always find a way to buy something you want (be careful Amazon, in your battles with top authors….).

Some concluding comments:
1. Will Comcast give better service (faster speeds) to its corporate-owned NBC websites/business units, and charge more to Disney and other Comcast/NBC/Universal competitors?
2. Should Microsoft buy Netflix and Barnes & Noble, to compete with Amazon’s video streaming business (perfect fit with xbox) and to take advantage of Amazon’s poor standing amongst authors/publishers? Microsoft already owns a minority stake in B&N’s Nook digital unit.
3. Should and/or will Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile block the Amazon mobile app from their wireless service?