Apple TV 4 remote image 001

Responding to the Apple TV 4 launch day and the warm reception the device has received from reviewers thus far, online retail giant Amazon has now removed all Apple TV models from sale on its online stores.

Earlier this month, Amazon warned customers that it would stop selling both Google’s Chromecast HDMI dongle and Apple’s set-top box in an effort to prevent “customer confusion” over devices that don’t “interact well” with its Prime Video service.

“Over the last three years, Prime Video has become an important part of Prime,” the company said in an email to marketplace vendors, a copy of which was obtained by Bloomberg.

”It’s important that the streaming media players we sell interact well with Prime Video in order to avoid customer confusion.”

It’s interesting that Amazon did not detail what compatibility problems Prime Video might have. Amazon’s existing Video app for iPhone and iPad supports Prime Video and AirPlay so it’s unclear why the company hasn’t created a dedicated Prime Video app for the new Apple TV (hint: they probably are not excited about sharing 30 percent of subscription revenue with Apple).

Streaming devices like the Roku, as well as consoles like the Xbox and PlayStation, support Prime Video so these devices will continue to sell on Amazon. Prime Video is of course supported on Amazon’s Fire TV and Fire TV Stick devices, and on other non-Amazon devices.

In addition to its own retail stores, the new Apple TV is now available from retailers like Best Buy, MacMall and Target.

Did Amazon shoot itself in the foot by pulling Apple TVs from online sales?

  • pauleebe

    Amazon should at least be consistent in removing all hardware that doesn’t support Prime (or, make the effort to release a Prime app for all hardware). This is just a bad business decision going into the biggest retail season of the year – limiting consumer choices who will then take their business elsewhere.

    By selectively removing only Apple TV and Google Chromcast, it sends the message that they view these products as the only true threats to the Amazon Firestick.

    • igorsky

      Or worse, it creates the impression that Amazon is afraid of those products.

      • George

        Why would you sell a streaming tv box that your streaming service isn’t on? Don’t you think prime subscribers would be buying an apple TV thinking they can use their service on it?

      • Antzboogie

        Yeah thats what they are thinking partially.

      • If this is the case the least Amazon could do is be transparent as to what is the actual problem (is it that they can’t be bothered to develop an application or is it something else?).

        It’s interesting that Amazon did not detail what compatibility problems Prime Video might have. Amazon’s existing Video app for iPhone and iPad supports
        Prime Video and AirPlay so it’s unclear why the company hasn’t created
        a dedicated Prime Video app for the new Apple TV (hint: they probably
        are not excited about sharing 30 percent of subscription revenue with
        Apple).

      • being fair amazon is the one supposed to be making the apps and support for chromecast. Not Google and Apple.

      • George

        Apple hates amazon. You can look at their history.

    • Micrones

      it is a smart business decision, FireTV sells well and not everyone wants ATV actually.
      Apple does not sell directly competing products, we should not expect the same from Amazon.

      • Past0rB

        The big difference is that Amazon sells tons of items they didn’t create and they claim to be the world’s online marketplace.

        Poor decision for sure.

    • Jack Wong

      Isn’t that monpoly?!

      Unlike Apple/Micorosoft Store, of course they only sell the product that is related to their business.

  • James G

    I don’t agree with this, at all.

  • According to Recode, Apple is charging high profile video services (Hulu, Netflix, etc) 15%. Imagine that could be extended to Amazon. But Amazon doesn’t want to pay a dime. Their business model leaves very little room for profit margins and this is their testy little way of saying F-you to Apple.

    • Greg Warren

      By not being transparent in their reasoning, they’re saying “F-you” to their customers, who only see that Prime video is not supported on their fancy new Apple TV.

    • Jacob S

      I am not sure if that is 15% or 30%. I read somewhere it is 30%. So since yesterday Googled unveiled “Youtube Red” supposed to be at $9.99 but in order to give Apple 30% cut Google increased the price to $12.99. That explains why Amazon decided not to publish amazon prime for apple tv. I have no complaints about this decision as I pulled the cord of 3rd gen apple tv and replaced with new Amazon fire tv. I am very happy that I can stream tons of prime videos in full HD and a lot more contents in 4K along with 4K youtube videos. So yes, I would say F you Apple and no plan to get new apple TV at al (at least until they allow 4k streaming).

      • Apparently its just *some premium content providers. Guess they’ll keep playing hardball with Amazon.

        http://www.idownloadblog[dot]com/2015/04/13/apple-tv-15-percent-content-fee/ :
        “According to writer Peter Kafka, signing up for HBO Now directly on the Apple TV, or any similar paid-for video service that uses iTunes billing, now imposes a fifteen percent fee rather than Apple’s standard thirty percent fee.
        “My understanding is that a handful of video services, including Netflix, Hulu Plus and pro-baseball’s MLB.TV, give Apple 15 percent of their monthly fees for any subscriber who signs up on Apple TV,” reads the article.
        The fee, of course, isn’t applied to free Apple TV video channels like YouTube or those requiring a paid TV subscription, like ESPN’s WatchESPN.
        It’s unclear why Apple cut its fee in half for Apple TV sign-ups, but my hunch tells me it did so in order to lure premium video networks to its platform.”

    • Eikast

      That’s only if they use iTunes billing

      • Right. I don’t see why they couldn’t build a “dumb” app for Amazon Prime with just a login allowing them to circumvent the revenue split provided they follow the AppStore rules.

    • They could follow Google, Spotify and others and put their prices up 15-30% higher to pass the Apple Tax on to consumers. Apple is within their own right to take a cut for services offered via their platforms but there’s nothing stopping Amazon from recouping this money.

  • That_Fruitarian

    It happens! Apple has removed competing products from its stores, too. I know it’s not about me, but I don’t shop Amazon anyhow.

    • Jacob S

      So sad you are don’t shop at amazon. You should try it and see how much time and money you can save than buying retail. At least 60% of my purchase comes from Amazon at my household.

      • John

        I wish we had Amazon…in Australia

  • Gerardo Castro

    I don’t think Amazon shot itself in the foot, because the firestick has been selling like crazy for one reason: It’s able to run Kodi. Other than 3rd party hardware and computers, Amazon’s Android based system and portability of the Fire stick make it perfect.

    As y’all may have heard Kodi has officially pulled support for the Apple TV

  • Micrones

    As bad as it may seem, it is a business decision
    Apple does not sell other company products in its store nor does Google.
    So why do we expect the same from Amazon….
    Amazon still sells Apple products but not directly competing products..
    Any smart business person can see the rationale in that…

    • Vic O

      Amazon sell AmazonBasics HDMI cables, USB chargers, Electric bulbs,… there are any number of items on Amazon that are “directly competing products”. Will Amazon pull these ones as well? No. Why? Because Amazon is an online retail MALL. Malls are supposed to provide access to a variety of competing products to help you make a choice in the marketplace. The decision to to pull the Apple Inc product is simply a negotiating tactic. Apple and Google have never portrayed their stores as anything other than outlets for their own products.

  • Nice move Amazon. NOT

  • Justin Linnell

    Amazon sent an e-mail out about the Google TV and offered a Fire Stick for $20, I later called them and said I had a few different Google TV’s (lies) and they gave me a free one as well. I don’t use the fire stick too often but is a handy device after you get Kodi installed.

  • Hilarious! Can’t take the heat so they bump the competition right out. And people comparing amazon to apple by saying apple doesn’t sell competitors stuff in their stores.. That’s because Apple has their own real stores. Amazon is internet based and is basically a flee market of random stuff, hardly anything is actually “amazon” made. So if their customers can’t get what they want from their flea market they’ll get it else where. Not to say everyone is buying Apple Tv’s from Amazon but it does help their bottom line and promotion, this doesn’t.

  • Jeo Ten

    This just shows weakness in the Amazon product, and fear by Bezos … sad.

  • burlow

    it is amazon that is keeping prime video off the apple tv app store….so the apple tv not being compatible with prime video is their own fault

  • Mark S

    “Nobody” and “ever”, I don’t think so. Someone will do it.

    • Buck

      It was just a joke Mark

      Just having some fun here.

  • That’s just bad business on their end. Not a chance they get enough calls to have that issue effect them to a point where they dump products. Just another excuse.

    • George

      That’s your opinion and I have mine.

      • Wasn’t bashing you or anything, that’s cool. I’ll leave this topic to post elsewhere. Sorry to bother you.

      • George

        Not bothering me lol just stating my thoughts on the matter.

    • George

      You’re underestimating the power of amazon. We’re talking about the company that killed business for many department stores especially electronic stores.

  • Why should Apple work with Amazon? Just because Amazon is a big company it should not mean they get special treatment. If they don’t like the Apple Tax (assuming this is why they haven’t made an app for the Apple TV) then they can either not accept subscriptions via iTunes or up the prices on Apple devices to recoup the Apple Tax.

    • George

      With that logic why should amazon work with apple? It goes both ways.

      • With that logic why should amazon work with apple? It goes both ways.

        You’re right it does go both ways. Amazon shouldn’t expect Apple to work with them and Apple shouldn’t expect Amazon to work with them. If they can come to an agreement that benefits both of them then great. If however they cannot come to an agreement (which seems to be the case here) there’s no need to act like a spoilt child and throw all of your toys out of the pram which is effectively what Amazon is doing by refusing to sell Apple TV devices or Chromecast devices.

  • Benjamin J Schwartz

    Amazon isn’t really harming itself here. Apple’s terms are unreasonable cause low margin business models to move into the red just to have a place on the field. What’s the point of playing if it’s lose lose?

  • Rodrigo Cobos

    seriosly whats with all the hate? wow what a great confusion! oh did that person say the Amazon tv is the best or the Apple tv is the best? mmm well they both start with an A so…i dont know?? i am freaking out 0_o?! LOL…haters gonna hate