Amazon plans to discontinue sales of Apple TV and Google Chromecast, two enormously popular streaming devices that compete with the company's own Fire TV and Fire TV stick. Bloomberg Business first reported on an Amazon memo dispatched to all merchants on the e-commerce site, warning that both products will disappear on October 29th. New listings for either device are no longer permitted. "Roku, Xbox, PlayStation, and Fire TV are excellent choices," the company said in a statement.
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Amazon's reasoning, which is sure to come under a firestorm of criticism, is that it wants to sell living room devices that are fully compatible and optimized for its Amazon Prime Video service. "Over the last three years, Prime Video has become an important part of Prime," Amazon told vendors in an email. "It’s important that the streaming media players we sell interact well with Prime Video in order to avoid customer confusion."
"It’s important that the streaming media players we sell interact well with Prime Video in order to avoid customer confusion."
Apple TV and Chromecast users are not presently able to purchase movies and TV shows directly from Amazon's digital store. Amazon has long refused to hand over a percentage of content sales to Apple (iOS) or Google (Android), which would allow convenient in-app purchases on both platforms. (For example, on iOS, Amazon's video app will only show you movies you've already purchased or rented plus content that can be streamed for free as part of Amazon's Prime service.) An Amazon Video app for Apple TV has also yet to materialize.
The move may harm Google's living room ambitions more than Apple's; Chromecast has steadily been a top seller in the electronics category since its debut — and Google just announced a brand new model. Consumers will still be able to purchase it from the Google Store, Best Buy, and other third-party retailers. Apple too is preparing to release an updated version of the Apple TV box later this month through its own store and via a slew of authorized retailers.
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