There's been a boom in the streaming media gadget world lately, with Apple, Google and Amazon each releasing a souped-up new version of their television-connected devices. Google just announced the second-generation Chromecast, and the new Apple TV was one of the highlights of the company's September unveiling event.
Amazon's Fire TV and Fire TV Stick are both revamped as well, and that's apparently led the retail behemoth to stop sales of the Chromecast and Apple TV. The official word from Amazon is that it's axing the competing products because they don't "interact well" with Amazon's Prime Video service. The Chromecast and Apple TV listings and inventory will be gone October 29.
Not every competitor is being shown the door. Roku's devices as well as the Xbox and PlayStation will all continue to be sold on Amazon - because they all work with Amazon's video service.
"This has the potential to hurt Amazon as much as it does Apple and Google," analyst Barbara Kraus told Bloomberg Business. "As a retailer, I want to give people a reason to come to me. When I take out best-selling brands, I take away those reasons."
Whether this move works for or against Amazon is yet to be seen. Fewer than 20% of Amazon customers have a Prime membership, so that remaining 80% may want a streaming device that's not geared toward the Amazon ecosystem. What do you think? Is Amazon shooting itself in the foot, or simply protecting its own product line? Let us know in the comments below.