Some people say they like the 3-D effects on the screen, but that's just bling at the end of hot rolled steel coil. People get smartphones for awesome apps, and the Fire is very much inside Amazon's walled garden. You can't even get Google Maps.

Google has gone to great pains to build versions of Android that use less and less data. In terms of the smartphones themselves, — and both of the giants are getting real competition from cheaper alternatives like Lenovo. So while Apple hosts a glitzy event and talks abut tracking heart rates, and as Amazon promises it can store all of Downton Abbey on your palm, the real future could be in phones that are lean — and, by the way, that also have decent battery life.

What can we learn by comparing Amazon's price cut to this week's ? Amazon and Apple are actually trying to do similar things — that is, to take the smartphone and rejigger it, to create an even more intimate experience. But there's a delicate line between feeling intimate and feeling trapped, and Amazon's approach is a cautionary tale to others entering the smartphone market.

This vision is nothing new — it's the kind of stuff that lots of so-called have been trying to push for years — but Cook is hoping that because Apple's doing it now, it'll stick. Is the Amazon price cut an attempt to compete with the new iPhones? Yes, in part — but definitely not just with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The true gorilla in the room is Android, which is by far the most popular smartphone operating system in the world, with according to Strategy Analytics.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos thought that because people love shopping at Amazon.com so much, they'd love a smartphone that's really a shopping remote control. So far, it looks like he overshot. Now over at Apple, CEO Tim Cook wants his customers to put Apple on their bodies — to use a smart watch to log how much we run and eat, and even take it along to the doctor to share our heart-rate charts.