By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)
Since it competed directly with Amazon’s Fire TV streaming device, the Apple TV was delisted two years ago by Amazon, along with Google’s Chromecast, in an effort to give the device some chance to gain a foothold in the streaming media category. In addition, Amazon said that Amazon’s Prime Video streaming app didn’t work well with Apple products. To that end, claiming product confusion, they took the Apple TV out of their product catalog.
Two years later, Amazon and Apple have made peace with a deal that brings it back just in time for the holidays. And within hours of its return, both 32 GB and 64 GB models are sold out, along with Apple having sold out of the 64GB 4K model on their own website! Clearly the 4K Apple TV is a success as users have gobbled it up like Thanksgiving dinner.
In addition to brisk sales, Amazon is also receiving an huge benefit, as their Amazon video app is one of the most popular downloads in the Apple TV app store. As part of the deal, Apple agreed to make the Amazon Prime Video app available to third, fourth and fifth generation Apple TV units. The free app requires prime video membership to stream from Amazon’s collection of original programming and other offerings.
Even though it’s sold out at both Amazon and Apple online portals, cord cutters can still find the 4K Apple TV through Best Buy and other retailers, but the supplies are dwindling fast.
Google’s Chromecast, however, is having problems of another kind on Amazon’s site. Even though Amazon has returned the $35 streaming device to the online store, it’s been reported that it is currently listed as “unavailable.”
As part of this ongoing squabble, Google had been restricting access to YouTube with the Amazon Echo Show home assistant and FireTV devices, which some see as retaliation for removing Chromecast in the first place.
Amazon relisting the device may have been the proverbial olive branch to make peace in order to add the service without several tedious workarounds. Amazon has stated that the company is in “productive discussions” to resolving differences that should result in Chromecast returning soon, but obviously not before the end of the holiday shopping season.
I’ve used the Chromecast, and you can’t beat the price. A first generation stick model goes in my bag every time I travel, though I am increasingly finding that many hotels are also offering Chromecast in rooms for streamers looking to catch their favorite programs.
Apple TV on the other hand is becoming even more handy, though I still prefer my Roku Premiere. That all may change with Apple’s 4K device and it’s expanding slate of original programming. I’m a huge Ronald D. Moore fan and once he gets his new sci-fi cold war alternative historical drama up and running, I may have to make “the switch.”
In related news … Google has also announced that it was forced to delay its YouTube TV app for the Apple TV until the first quarter of 2018, missing its projected 2017 launch date.
Hat Tip – Variety