Amazon pulling Chromecast and Apple TV from shelves
Amazon on Friday said it will stop selling Apple TV and Google Chromecast devices that compete with the online retail titan's own media-streaming hardware.
The reason given for the move was an intent to focus on devices that play well with Amazon Prime video service, which the Seattle-based company has been ramping up with original shows and content partnerships.
"Over the last three years, Prime Video has become an important part of (Amazon subscription service) Prime," an Amazon spokesperson said in an email response to an AFP inquiry.
"It's important that the streaming media players we sell interact well with Prime Video in order to avoid customer confusion."
Amazon will continue to sell Roku and the company's own Fire TV devices, along with Xbox and PlayStation consoles made by Microsoft and Sony respectively, according to the spokesperson, who referred to the selection as "excellent choices."
Chromecast and Apple TV are to be pulled from Amazon's virtual shelves as well as those of third-party shops at the end of this month, according to exchanges by resellers in online forums.
Streaming TV scrum
The news came shortly after Google and Apple unveiled improved versions of their devices for channeling digital movies, television shows, and more from the Internet to television screens.
Amazon competes in the same arena with a Fire TV line that includes a USB style "Stick" priced at $40 and a new ultra high-definition Fire TV box set for release next week at $100.
Google on Tuesday unveiled an upgraded version of its popular Chromecast device that plugs into television screens to stream content wirelessly from the internet, with smartphones or tablets serving as controls.
The company also introduced Chromecast Audio, a pendant sized device designed to plug into stereo speakers for streaming music, podcasts, YouTube or other audio content through home sound systems.
Both new Chromecast devices kept the $35 price of the earlier version.
Updated Apple TV hardware set for release in late this month promised to strike a blow to cable companies that have been in a power seat when it comes to delivering shows and other content.
Apple TV will have a version of the App Store that has been a hit on iPhones.
By letting media companies keep control of their content in apps, Apple could find new money-making models while sidestepping worries studios might have about distribution rights.
Amazon also makes a gaming version of its Fire TV box.
According to the research firm Parks Associates: Roku leads the US market with a 37 percent market share, to 19 percent for Google Chromecast and 17 percent for Apple TV. Amazon's Fire TV devices have 14 percent.
© 2015 AFP