Amazon likes to say the customer comes first, but every now and then the business takes top billing—especially when the customer wants to buy an Apple TV or Google Chromecast streaming media player from Amazon.com. At least that's the story since October 1, when Amazon decided to drop the sale of these rival players—as well as Google's lesser-known Nexus Player—from the website after October 29.
According to BloombergBusiness, which broke the story, neither Amazon nor its affiliated resellers will issue new product listings for the three devices as of that date. All unsold inventory will be pulled from the site as well. You will, however, be able to buy other streaming players, notably Roku models, the Xbox and PlayStation game systems, and—of course—the new Amazon Fire TV.
An Amazon spokesperson sent us the same statement issued to news outlets: "Over the last three years, Prime Video has become an important part of Prime. It’s important that the streaming media players we sell interact well with Prime Video in order to avoid customer confusion. Roku, XBox, PlayStation, and Fire TV are excellent choices."
The issue, it would seem, isn't that the banned Apple TV and Chromecast don't "interact" well with Amazon Prime; it's that unlike Roku, XBox, PlayStation, and Fire TV, they don't currently support Amazon Prime at all.
The Amazon move comes after Apple and Google updated their streaming media players: The new Apple TV is slated to arrive at the end of this month, and the revamped Chromecast is available now.
According to a recent Parks Associates report on streaming media devices, Amazon, Apple, Google, and Roku accounted for 86 percent of streaming media player sales to the nation's broadband households in 2014. That means that at the end of this month, Amazon will no longer sell two of the four top-selling players in the U.S.
The outstanding question is whether Amazon will lift its ban if Apple TV and Google Chromecast start supporting the Amazon Prime streaming service.
Look for our hands-on reviews of the new Amazon Fire TV next week and of the new Apple TV and Chromecast later this month.
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