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:
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.
Dan Nosowitz writing for Popular Science:
The interesting thing about the Chromecast is that it isolates a single feature found in some other streaming TV products, eliminates everything else, and cuts the price and size down. Apple TV has a Chromecast in it, essentially, but the Chromecast eliminates 90 percent of what the Apple TV can do and cuts the price by two-thirds. Google thinks that one feature, the slinging feature, is enough to carry its product.
The first thing I thought of when I heard about the Chromecast was how weird it would be to use it with guests over. What is everyone else doing while you’re browsing around on your tablet? Are they crowding around you? Are they making suggestions from across the room, with no context as to what applications you are browsing or what direction you’re heading in terms of content provider, genre, etc.?
But, Dan nailed it when he said “Google also has a spectacularly lousy history of supporting its TV products.” Is this going to be just another product that Google ceases development of?
If you want a cheap internet streaming device for your TV, just buy a Roku or an Apple TV. You’ll be a lot happier and avoid getting caught up in Chromecast’s eventual train wreck (which already appears to have begun).
(Via The Loop.)