If you want to buy an Apple TV or Google Chromecast through Amazon, you'd better hurry: The online retailer is expected to cease selling both devices by October 29, according to Bloomberg.
The news outlet says Amazon explained why it will stop sales in an email sent out to members of the Amazon Associates program. The reason? Amazon Prime Video, of course.
"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."
Like many other comments I've read about this on Twitter, I call bull on Amazon's reason; the company says Prime Video doesn't run well on competing devices such as those from Apple and Google.
Prime Video is indeed an important part of Amazon's Prime membership, but that's not new. It has been since the company included it with Prime in February 2011, which is nearly five years ago.
Instead, the real reason is more likely to do with Amazon wanting to sell its own FireTV hardware. That's understandable, of course, but it's short-sighted. Amazon would likely say otherwise since it will still sell streaming devices that do support Amazon Instant Video such as Roku, the Xbox, and Sony PlayStation.
Rather than trying to cut off sales of Apple TV and Google Chromecast, Amazon should join the dozens of other video app services by adding Chromecast support to its current Amazon Instant Video app for Android. It wouldn't hurt the company to work a deal that gets Instant Video on the Apple TV as well. That would certainly mitigate the "doesn't work well with competing devices" argument.
Amazon was late to the TV streaming game and it already supports video watching on iOS and Android, although it took a long time for the latter. Regardless, the genie is out of the bottle and Instant Video support is already available on nearly all mobile devices.
While the cessation of Apple TV and Chromecast sales doesn't change that, I think Amazon is doing more harm than good here. Indeed, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see the company change its tune in the near future based on consumer feedback.