Apple TV 4K sales resume at Amazon after two-year block

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited December 2017
After a more than two year sales block on Apple's set-top media streamers because of "customer confusion," Amazon now has two "Sold by Amazon" listings for the Apple TV 4K.




The listings popped up overnight, and are not third-party sales. Both of the entries are for full retail price -- and are currently listed as temporarily out of stock, and no estimated delivery window.

Amazon withdrew the Apple TV and Chromecast on Oct. 29, 2015, after it claimed that Amazon Prime Video compatibility was necessary for the company to sell set-top boxes to avoid "customer confusion." Amazon could have made that happen with a channel in the third-generation device, or an app for the fourth-generation, but at the time it chose not to do so.

In 2016, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos suggested Prime Video would remain off devices made by Apple or any other company marketing comparable set-top streaming products until amicable reimbursement models are agreed upon.

Apple CEO Tim Cook announced at the WWDC that Amazon's video streaming service would be available on the Apple TV in 2017. After several false starts, the app hit the Apple TV third and fourth generation, plus the Apple TV 4K on Dec. 6.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 15
    It makes sense, now that Prime Video is on Apple TV  :D
  • Reply 2 of 15
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 5,983member
    I’d sure like to know the back story on all of this. I wonder if any money changed hands. Some day the story of what really went down between Amazon, Google, and Apple.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 15
    adm1adm1 Posts: 806member
    I hadn't heard that argument before now and to be honest, I understand it - I've encountered umpteen elderly and non-techie types that have purchased something "smart" expecting it to work with a certain service that they use. There is a whole demographic of people that don't know of differing services and that some are platform exclusive or agnostic. If Amazon were to sell the Apple TV alongside the Fire TV and Roku's, I can fully understand how 72yr old retired Mary or 58yr old farmer Tom would expect their Amazon Prime Video to be available on all of them, to then be disappointed and get angry at the amazon as the point-of-sale.

    I know it was probably Amazon's decision not to have an apple tv app which moot's the whole thing but the argument they put forward is certainly plausible. 
  • Reply 4 of 15
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 5,983member
    adm1 said:
    I hadn't heard that argument before now and to be honest, I understand it - I've encountered umpteen elderly and non-techie types that have purchased something "smart" expecting it to work with a certain service that they use. There is a whole demographic of people that don't know of differing services and that some are platform exclusive or agnostic. If Amazon were to sell the Apple TV alongside the Fire TV and Roku's, I can fully understand how 72yr old retired Mary or 58yr old farmer Tom would expect their Amazon Prime Video to be available on all of them, to then be disappointed and get angry at the amazon as the point-of-sale.

    I know it was probably Amazon's decision not to have an apple tv app which moot's the whole thing but the argument they put forward is certainly plausible. 
    No, the argument is not even remotely plausible for the exact reason you pointed out. Amazon were in complete control of the so-called confusion. Amazon were the ones who decided not to develop apps for the Apple TV and the Chromecast. They could have, they should have, but they chose not to for questionable reasons.
    1STnTENDERBITSStrangeDaysentropyswatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 15
    I was going to cancel my Amazon Prime membership if their app didn’t come to the Apple plateform.  I’m sure I’m not the only one.
    SpamSandwichwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 15
    adm1 said:
    I hadn't heard that argument before now and to be honest, I understand it - I've encountered umpteen elderly and non-techie types that have purchased something "smart" expecting it to work with a certain service that they use. There is a whole demographic of people that don't know of differing services and that some are platform exclusive or agnostic. If Amazon were to sell the Apple TV alongside the Fire TV and Roku's, I can fully understand how 72yr old retired Mary or 58yr old farmer Tom would expect their Amazon Prime Video to be available on all of them, to then be disappointed and get angry at the amazon as the point-of-sale.

    I know it was probably Amazon's decision not to have an apple tv app which moot's the whole thing but the argument they put forward is certainly plausible. 
    This is a bad take.  To base your argument on the elderly person who expects their Prime Video... their Prime Video... so they are technically adept enough to take advantage of Prime to order things and access and stream video, but they're technical expertise stops at the door of knowing what service offers what features?  Okay.  Yeah, I'm more inclined to believe that Mary and Tom realize Amazon wanted to limit competition for their devices so they came up with a very thin excuse to do it.  Seriously, a child could see through Amazon's "rationalization".  A child or a 72 year old retiree, take your pick.
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 7 of 15
    Amazon doesn't need to justify their decision to anyone but shareholders. They don't have to sell anything in their store they don't want to. For any reason. It doesn't even have to be a good one. And if you insist on badgering them to explain their reasoning, understand you will get an unsatisfying PR response.

    However, if a product is compelling enough, and customers ask for it over & over, the store will likely consider carrying the product (or developing the app).

    And here we are.
    equality72521
  • Reply 8 of 15
    They're already out of stock.
  • Reply 9 of 15
    NY1822NY1822 Posts: 493member
    How are people leaving reviews on Amazon from 6 days ago if today was the first day it came on Amazon?
    edited December 2017 watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 15
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 2,668administrator
    NY1822 said:
    How are people leaving reviews on Amazon from 6 days ago if today it was the first day it came on Amazon?
    There was a previous listing with the same ASIN. It was updated this morning with "Sold and shipped by Amazon"
  • Reply 11 of 15
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,306member
    . . .

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 15
    lkrupp said:
    I’d sure like to know the back story on all of this. I wonder if any money changed hands. Some day the story of what really went down between Amazon, Google, and Apple.
    Google blocked YouTube access from the Amazon Echo Show because they claimed that Amazon's method of providing access - since the official app is not available - provided a poor user experience. Amazon retaliated by pulling Nest devices from their online store. Google responded by working with Amazon to improve the UI/UX for YouTube on the Echo Show ... but Amazon refused to relist the Nest devices and never gave any reason why. So Google entirely blocked YouTube from not only Amazon Echo Show, but threatened to do the same for Fire TV boxes and sticks on January 1, and justified it by stating that Amazon had refused to sell Chromecast and Android TV boxes for years and was now refusing to sell Google Home devices because they didn't want competition with their own hardware devices. But there was no reason to delist Nest at all because Amazon doesn't make smart home devices and (as far as anyone knows) has no plans to. Amazon relented and has started back selling Chromecast in order to get YouTube access back. But Google hasn't budged, likely because A) they still haven't relisted Nest devices and B) the reason why Amazon is only selling Chromecasts is because those devices are too limited to directly compete with the Fire TV and Echo devices, unlike Google Home and Android TV. For instance, both Google Home and Android TV can run the Android Assistant AI app, but Chromecast can't. 

    Where does Apple TV fit in? It doesn't really. It was just collateral damage, caught in the crossfire in the dispute between Google and Amazon. (Which began when/because Amazon ridiculously thought that they could take forked Android and create an ecosystem that was more profitable and influential than Google Android. That idea might have made some sense back when Google Android was really struggling, and Amazon was able to convert their fairly large Kindle e-reader customer base to Android-powered Kindle devices, but after the Google/Samsung combination took off, Amazon should have taken a reality check. In some sense they have scaled down their war with Google over Google's own OS ... they have stopped trying to compete with the Google Play Store for instance and they gave up on their plans to make a competing productivity suite to Google Docs, and have finally listed Prime Video in the Google Play Store instead of forcing you to sideload it ... their main trick to force Google Android people to use the Amazon App Store, but first the battleground shifted from tablets and phones - especially after Amazon's phone tanked - to TV streamers and now AI assistants). Instead, Amazon merely delisted the Apple TV in order to legitimize their decision not to sell Chromecast or the Fire TV. (The Apple TV was never really a competitor to the Fire TV because it cost too much, and owning an Apple TV makes no sense unless you already own an iPad, iPhone, Mac or at least an iPod in order to use iTunes). And the fact that Apple does not (yet) have a comparable AI assistant to Alexa and Google Assistant makes the decision to return Apple TV easier, as the Apple TV + Siri combo isn't a competitor to the Echo Show the way that a Nexus Player + Google Assistant combo would be. 

    Now that Amazon is now selling Apple TV again, going forward this fight really doesn't affect Apple anymore. But it is likely going to take a lot more than selling Chromecast again in order to get Google to back off their YouTube threat. Amazon is going to have to agree to relist Nest - which again blocking never made sense in the first place - as well as either Google Home or an Android TV box. If I were Amazon, I would choose the latter because where people actually are buying Google Home devices, no one is buying Android TV boxes, as most traction for Android TV have come from Sony Bravia smart TVs that run the platform.
  • Reply 13 of 15
    NY1822 said:
    How are people leaving reviews on Amazon from 6 days ago if today was the first day it came on Amazon?
    good point LOL
  • Reply 14 of 15
    The bad part of Amazon Prime on the Apple TV is that it only puts out stereo sound.  If you've got a minimum 5.1 setup for your entertainment center it's not going to be used properly.
  • Reply 15 of 15
    rwx9901 said:
    The bad part of Amazon Prime on the Apple TV is that it only puts out stereo sound.  If you've got a minimum 5.1 setup for your entertainment center it's not going to be used properly.
    Amazon says that's an oopsie and has promised to fix it. If I understand correctly, 5.1 audio is now working for 4K content, and Amazon says they'll have 5.1 with HD and SD content "soon."
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