Spencer Soper, writing for Bloomberg:
The Seattle-based Web retailer sent an e-mail to its marketplace sellers that it will stop selling the Apple TV and Google’s Chromecast since those devices don’t “interact well” with Prime Video. No new listings for the products will be allowed and posting of existing inventory will be removed Oct. 29, Amazon said. Prime Video doesn’t run easily on its rival’s hardware.
I see this move as an indication that one of these three things is true:
- Amazon is afraid that the Fire TV is an inferior product when compared to the Apple TV and Chromecast. Amazon doesn’t even want to give customers the option because if they do customers might pass the Fire TV by.
- Apple isn’t allowing Amazon to build an Amazon Video app for the Apple TV.
- Amazon eventually plans to discontinue AirPlay support in their mobile apps and doesn’t plan on ever adding Chromecast support or building an Apple TV app.
I think the major question that Amazon has to ask themselves when making a decision like this is “are we a retailer first or a platform company first?” I think most users of the Amazon ecosystem think of them as a retailer with a nice side project building tablets and media boxes, but I suspect Amazon feels differently — the removal of the Apple TV and Chromecast from their store is a good indicator of this.
Only time will tell how far Amazon is willing to take this and whether or not they’ll find the success they’re seeking. But in the meantime, customers like myself who pay for Amazon Prime and own Apple products are going to find it harder and harder to take full advantage of Amazon’s non-retail services.