Bloomberg is reporting that Amazon will be discontinuing sales of Apple TV and Chromecast. Their reasoning is that Amazon’s own video service is not supported on those platforms.
“Over the last three years, Prime Video has become an important part of Prime,” Amazon said in the e-mail, which was sent to sellers yesterday. “It’s important that the streaming media players we sell interact well with Prime Video in order to avoid customer confusion.”
This would have made sense for years now as Amazon really was locked out of the Apple TV. But as of last month’s announcement of tvOS, this no longer makes sense. If Amazon wants to be on Apple TV, all they need to do is use the developer account they already have and write the app. The whole point of the new Apple TV is that it doesn’t lock out third parties. How is the Apple TV / Fire TV dynamic different than the iPad / Fire Tablet one?
Even worse though is that Amazon is now breaking down the barriers between being a retailer, electronics company, and content provider. For better or worse, Amazon is the retail store for the vast majority of people who are online. Apple does not sell competing brands it does not approve of, but no one expects it because Apple Stores are just that, stores for Apple. Amazon is not Apple. There is no “confusion” because people think of the Amazon website as a store. The people who know about Prime Video very likely understand the difference.
Not like this will hurt Apple TV much, if at all. I don’t know a single person who ever bought an Apple product (other than maybe a cable or adapter) from Amazon. The vast majority of customers buy from Apple directly, with most of the remaining customers coming though authorized resellers. But for Amazon, it sets a bad precedent.