Amazon vs. Apple: Jeff Bezos Just Squashed Tim Cook

Tickers in this article: AMZN AAPL
NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- I'll let TheStreet.com's Chris Ciaccia very ably provide the details but, if it wasn't already obvious, Amazon.com (AMZN) CEO Jeff Bezos proved that Apple (AAPL) will slowly morph from greatness to just being good in the absence of Steve Jobs.

Jeff Bezos pulled the tech equivalent of peppering a backup goaltender with hockey pucks as he introduced Kindle after Kindle with feature after feature, bell after bell and whistle after whistle in Santa Monica. It's as if Tim Cook stepped in for starter Steve Jobs and Bezos told the defense to blitz on every play.

No matter what Apple's forthcoming iPhone 5 event brings, there's no way Cook was prepared for what Bezos threw at him on Thursday.

For the past year I have argued that Amazon has no interest in competing against Apple. I was probably correct, but I did miss something critical.

Jeff Bezos wanted no part of a competition against Apple when Steve Jobs was alive. Now, Bezos has decided to pounce, with full force, on Apple when it's most vulnerable.

In the short term it doesn't seem sensible to classify Apple as "vulnerable." But move beyond the immediate pipeline and it's clear -- this company simply cannot triumph product after product as it did under Jobs' leadership.

Just use Apple TV as a case in point.

As I explained most recently in mid-August, Tim Cook has no idea how to move forward with Apple TV . On Thursday, Bloomberg, for all intents and purposes, confirmed my speculation.

It reports that, while it might have the design down, Apple can't seem to get anywhere with the old-guard media on content and delivery.

Simply put, television executives saw what happened with iTunes. They're not about to end up like the music industry.

With Jobs at the negotiating table, Apple might have had a fighting chance. Under Cook, it's left with a downright pathetic decision to make: Do we produce a glorified DVR player or continue to delay this product? .

Apple TV should probably end up where Jobs probably wishes Ping did: On the cutting-room floor.

Steve Jobs claimed he had the living room figured out. It appears he moved the furniture around and turned the lights off on Cook before he left.

Think of Apple TV as a poster child for what has happened to the DNA of this company. Apple pays a dividend. It misses a quarter. It airs and pulls lame retail ads. It overhauls Apple Store staff, only to reverse that decision as well. It's all evidence of a company losing the way that made it beyond great.

The "A" player left the team. As much as I love the Big Man, Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band hums along stronger than ever even after the death of saxaphonist Clarence Clemons. While I would not call him a "B" player, you can replace Clemons but not Springsteen. That's the way you have to view practically everybody else in the world, let alone within Apple, against Steve Jobs.