According to Bloomberg, Amazon will no longer be selling Apple TV or Google Chromecast starting October 29, siting vague references that these products are not easily “compatible” with Amazon’s Prime video service. A big shift in Amazon is taking place within the online retail giant by refusing to sell what look to be popular forthcoming retail products.
Control within Amazon seems to have shifted from its online retail division, to that of the Prime team. This shift is similar to the power Microsoft’s Windows team yielded for decades, and continues to do so, stifling anything in their path for the sake of maintaining power. What is good for Windows is good for Microsoft is the Redmond mantra. In Amazon’s case, subscriptions are now king, running over any physical hardware sales gains. Amazon has taken on a somewhat Orwellian-Marxist viewpoint that all products are equal, but some are more equal than others. In this case, Fire TV is sold along side any other competing product, that is, unless other products threaten the power of Fire TV.
While this may seem to be a big blow to Apple and Google, while giving Amazon the upper hand with customers, the question of just how many Apple TV's and Google Chromecast products Amazon was selling may reveal the Emperor has no clothes. According to Amazon, Google's low-end Chromecast stick currently sits in 6th place within Amazon's electronics best seller list. Apple TV is in the 14th position. While it may appear brave and powerful move for Amazon to cut Apple TV and Chromecast out of its sales offering, doing so is likely costing Amazon minimal sales dollars. It isn't such a tough guy move after all. By all appearances, those buying Apple TV's are purchasing directly Apple and elsewhere.
The area Amazon is pointing to as a reason to no longer sell Apple TV or Chromecast seems less than convincing. Amazon claims a lack of "easy compatibility" with Prime... But isn't that a self-indictment on Amazon itself? Considering that both Apple and Google have development kits, if Amazon's product isn't working well on other's hardware, it is their own programming that's to blame. Dozens of other companies have managed to get their streaming solutions working just fine. The claim is disingenuous to say the least, and certainly does not speak well of Amazon's ability to design great software, or software that at least works well.
Amazon's direction to no longer allow customers a wide range of steaming device choices, at a time when the market looked poised to take off, reveals just how threatened Amazon is of Apple and Google's latest streaming solutions. Based on Amazon's history of hardware success, the latest failure being the Amazon Fire Phone, this isn't going to turn out well for the limiting choice retailer, also known as Amazon.
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