Report: Amazon to halt sales of Chromecast and Apple TV


— 9:00 AM on October 2, 2015

Bloomberg reports that by the end of October, Amazon will no longer carry or allow its third-party sellers to sell Google's Chromecast or the Apple TV. The news went out in an email to third-party sellers yesterday. Amazon says it's making the move because the Chromecast and Apple TV don't "interact well" with Prime Video.

Other living room boxes are apparently safe. All three current-generation consoles—the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Wii—have apps for Prime Video. Blooomberg says Roku's streaming boxes will stay, too, since they also stream Amazon's service. The report doesn't mention Android TV, but Prime Video isn't available on that platform.

The lack of Prime Video on the Chromecast and Apple TV seems like a weak excuse to drop sales. The Chromecast is capable of displaying video from any Android device, and while Amazon doesn't have its video service available for download from Google Play, it's available to install on any phone or tablet on Amazon's own Android app store.

Likewise, the Apple TV can mirror iOS devices thanks to AirPlay, and the company has published an app for the service on Apple's iOS app store. At least one TR contributor has successfully mirrored Prime Video from an iPhone to the Apple TV. It seemed to work "just fine." The recently-announced version of the Apple TV will ship with its own app store, which seems like the sort of thing Amazon could use to publish a Prime Video tvOS app.

Some of the analysts that spoke with Bloomberg think Amazon's decision will cost it sales. "Fewer than 20 percent of Amazon customers are Prime members," Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter told Bloomberg. "I think that the excuse of avoiding customer confusion is a not-so-veiled attempt to favor Amazon first-party products over third-party products, and think it was a bad move." We agree.

 
   
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