Amazon follows through on threat, yanking all Apple TV hardware from leading online retail store


Following through on a threat made earlier this month, Amazon has pulled all Apple TV hardware from its online stores, regardless of whether it was being sold by Amazon directly or third-party vendors in Amazon’s Marketplace. The removal coincides with today’s official release of the fourth-generation Apple TV, Apple’s first model to launch with an App Store full of third-party apps.

Amazon notified third-party merchants that it planned to remove both Apple TVs and Google’s Chromecasts from its listings, claiming an interest in reducing “consumer confusion” over streaming media players that don’t “interact well with Prime Video,” Amazon’s streaming video service. Apple TV and Chromecast pages currently lead to 404 Document Not Found error pages, while attempts to search for the products now redirect to Amazon’s own Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, PlayStation TV, and a collection of off-brand alternatives. Certain Apple TV accessories remain available for purchase, however…

It’s unclear why Amazon hasn’t followed numerous rivals in developing a tvOS-compatible app for the Apple TV, though relations between Apple and Amazon have been prickly since the leading online retailer began selling its own direct rivals to the iPad, Apple TV, and iPhone. Using an iOS app, Prime Video users have previously been able to watch videos on iPads and iPhones, as well as through past Apple TVs using AirPlay. Amazon has continued to offer both Prime subscriptions and the vast majority of its product catalog to Apple users, albeit without submitting to Apple’s 30% revenue-sharing demands for iOS apps.

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  1. Iven Tenz (@ivenalot) - 7 years ago

    And thats how you make friends.

  2. lycius84 - 7 years ago

    With tvOS there is no real reason for them not to have an app unless they are being targeted by Apple. In that case I’m ok with them not selling the Apple TV through their site.

    • lkrupp215 - 7 years ago

      The point is we don’t what is going on between Apple and Amazon. Do you? Apple started its retail store operations precisely because of the fickle nature of retailers, both online and physical stores. For years they struggled with the likes of CompUSA, Best Buy, Sears, and other retailers who refused to put any effort into promoting Apple products and treated them as just another item on the shelf.

  3. Keith Vukasinovich - 7 years ago


  4. just1n12 - 7 years ago

    Amazon is stupid for doing that but oh well more traffic for the Apple online store.

  5. Bill K. (@MysteryMii215) - 7 years ago

    Here’s a huge F**K you to Amazon.

  6. hodar0 - 7 years ago

    Considering the BBC, Hulu, Netflix, ABC, CBS, ShowTime, HBO, Smithsonian, ESPN and a host of other channels and subscription based channels are available – I cannot think of a reason why Amazon has opted to remain on the sidelines. It’s not Apple’s job to promote Amazon.

    I would see this as a huge opportunity for Amazon to promote themselves. Consider, $95/year for Amazon Prime Streaming (plus free 2nd day shipping); or paying $10-15/month through the Apple Store? Get people introduced to the benefits of free 2nd shipping, and you will get even more yearly memberships, or generate a higher monthly subscription base (especially around the Holidays).

  7. crutchcameslinking - 7 years ago

    I’m guessing this will affect Amazon’s revenues more than it will Apple or Google’s as there is no shortage of places to buy Apple TV and Chromecast.
    That’s assuming Apple TV and Chromecast were not typically impulse purchases on Amazon.

  8. lkrupp215 - 7 years ago

    For me it all boils down to who is blocking an Amazon app. Is it Apple or Amazon? Then the question becomes why. Neither Apple nor Amazon has made any statement about this so we are left with speculation. Rene Ritchie’s take is that Apple would be risking a backlash if they are blocking the app of a competitor, much like the backlash that happened when Apple originally rejected Google Maps for iOS. It also opens the possibility of anti-competitive charges. Apple is not dumb and it should know something like this could happen by rejecting an Amazon app. Then there’s the fact that iPhones and iPads DO have the Amazon app so why would Apple accept the app on those devices and then turn around and reject it on the Apple TV. Apple would certainly sell MORE Apple TVs if it had the Amazon app. Doesn’t make sense.

    What does make sense is the possibility that Amazon is the one holding back, either because of the fees Apple charges or because Amazon wants to promote its own hardware. Remember that Apple took all Bose products off its store shelves when it bought Beats. Pot, kettle, black.

    Botton line to me is that this all smells like Amazon is the culprit here but how do we find out for sure? Not having an Amazon app on the Apple TV is not anywhere near a deal killer for most. The other fantastic features easily trump the lack of an Amazon app, 4K, or optical audio port.

    • viciosodiego - 7 years ago

      What about google?
      Amazon is the one who’s crying.

    • viciosodiego - 7 years ago

      Plus why remove all apple tv hardware now?

      • amazingrugs - 7 years ago

        New Fire TV + New Apple TV + XMAS = your answer.

    • sewollef - 7 years ago

      You are of course assuming Amazon has built an app for tvOS in the first place. And I’m not sure we know that either.

      • viciosodiego - 7 years ago

        There is simply no reason for neither google or apple to let them on apple tv or chrome cast.

    • rick gregory (@rickg) - 7 years ago

      It’s apparently Amazon (

      “Incidentally, that Amazon Prime Video is the exception to the conga line of content offerings above is entirely Amazon’s doing. A ~magnanimous~ Apple tells BuzzFeed News that “all are welcome” on its new Apple TV platform. But Amazon — which recently purged Apple TV from its store — doesn’t have a Prime Video app in the Apple TV App Store. And as of a few days ago, it hadn’t submitted one. (An Amazon spokesperson told BuzzFeed News the company “doesn’t have anything to share” on the topic.) “

    • Brian Wright - 7 years ago

      More than likely its Amazon not wanting to pay the app store fees. Probably something like they want 30% of every rental through the app *and* most likely a requirement that they can’t have different prices in the app.

  9. John C-Hack - 7 years ago

    Amazon is failing badly in pushing their hardware. The Fire phone was a massive fail. Their Fire tablets have not sold very well, and their newest ones have pathetic specs. Their Fire TV is unreliable and heavily biased to pushing only Amazon video.

    Its no surprise they can’t stand up to the competition. So their only choice is to ban superior competitive products from Google and Apple. It hurts the consumer for a short while.

    But…it helped me realize that other sites have better prices and service. I now use Adorama, BandH, Newegg, and many others to buy all my expensive hardware.

  10. viciosodiego - 7 years ago

    Fuck you amazon.
    You can make an app for the apple tv.
    They should investigate you for anti competitive tactics.

    • Thomas Georgetown - 7 years ago

      Vulgarity aside, are you sure Apple will allow it? I had Apple TV but got a Roku and like it more as I can get more channels. Now that I know how limiting AppleTV was, it would be hard to go back to it.

      • viciosodiego - 7 years ago

        Can you check something because I am not sure.
        Is there an amazon app on roku?
        If you like the roku thats ok.
        I mean the roku is a grate device for the price.

      • viciosodiego - 7 years ago

        They also did the same with google.

  11. Steve32 - 7 years ago

    I think there’s more in this story than the eye sees. Amazon has a history of trying to get its apps on as many platform as possible, and this would be odd if they chose not to release an Amazon Video/Music app for Apple TV. If Apple is blocking them from doing it, I think Amazon is doing the right thing otherwise this would be a dumb move just to get sales of Fire TV up.

    • viciosodiego - 7 years ago

      Nobody is blocking them google is not blocking anybody apple is not blocking anybody.
      Amazon just want to get there shit to sell, because if not they wood remove the apple tv way early before the apple tv4.

      • Steve32 - 7 years ago

        if that’s that’s the case then Amazon’s loss. I doubt this would put a dent in Apple’s sales numbers.

    • lkrupp215 - 7 years ago

      So why is Google blocking the Amazon app then? Or did you forget that Google Chromecast products were also removed?

      • viciosodiego - 7 years ago

        Why wood they block amazon prime app?
        They have them on the App store and google play.
        Again amazon is throwing a fit over hear.

    • Inaba-kun (@Inaba_kun) - 7 years ago

      Amazon have clearly had a change of policy. They don’t have apps for the Chromecast or Android TV either, despite the former being the most popular streaming device on the market.

      Amazon want to push people into buying Fire TVs. Hopefully it won’t work, as it’s a very anti consumer and frankly arrogant stance to take.

      • anekin007 - 7 years ago

        Amazon videos is on iOS. I can even download prime videos for free on wifi for offline viewing. Very useful especial for train rides. The new Apple TV will never come close to how many iOS devices there are. So why would they release an app on iOS with already millions of devices?

  12. Michael Weisberg - 7 years ago

    And yet the roku is still for sale on amazon….including the new roku4.

    • viciosodiego - 7 years ago

      The roku is not a very big threat for them.
      Now the new chromecast and apple tv is sure to put them out of Business.

      • Michael Weisberg - 7 years ago

        Roku currently controls over 30% of the streaming box market share in the US alone.

        ““Device shipments and sales receipts are important performance measures, but an equally critical metric for device makers is ongoing usage,” Kraus said. “Usage will drive alternate revenue streams such as content sales and advertising. Roku devices are the most used among U.S. broadband households that own a streaming media device at 37%, followed by Google Chromecast at 19%, Apple TV at 17%, and Amazon Fire TV devices at 14%.”

        Source: Parks Associates

      • Thomas Georgetown - 7 years ago

        You can stream Amazon Prime over the Roku. Plus a lot of other channels, AppleTV doesn’t compare, I had one but once I got a Roku I realized how limiting the AppleTV was. I love my iMacs, iPad and iPhone but easily can do without the AppleTV, Roku is so much handier.

    • lkrupp215 - 7 years ago

      Roku doesn’t have a competing streaming service like Apple and Google do. It’s just a dumb pipe so to speak.

      • Michael Weisberg - 7 years ago

        Does it matter? Every major media outlet including amazon prime video is available on roku. Until Apple TV has that, I ain’t buying it.

      • viciosodiego - 7 years ago

        Why remove it now?

    • viciosodiego - 7 years ago

      You are right roku is popular.
      But I don’t understand amazon everyone is jumping on the apple tv / google chrome cast cart.
      Again anti competitive.

      • Michael Weisberg - 7 years ago

        There has to be some sort of spat between amazon and apple over streaming rights and services.

    • viciosodiego - 7 years ago

      yep roku is there.

    • taoprophet420 - 7 years ago

      Roku has or has had an amozon button on Roku remotes.

      • Inaba-kun (@Inaba_kun) - 7 years ago

        The funny thing is, UK Rokus don’t have access to an Amazon app, and yet Amazon UK are still selling Rokus. So much for them scrapping devices which don’t support Prime Video.

        It’s total BS and very, very grubby. So much for Amazon putting the customer first.

  13. majordomo (@majordomo) - 7 years ago

    This is a fight Amazon does not want to start. My Amazon Prime is up next month. Won’t be renewing that. Turning down business (and profit) just because your feelings are hurt is bot good for the company. Instead they should show the Apple users what a good value Amazon is. They may even get some converts. At the very least they’ll get people to buy movies and TV shows and watch them on the Apple TV. Getting a little bit is better than nothing.

    • viciosodiego - 7 years ago

      Amazon is preventing the inevitable.
      They know the apple tv and chrome cast are going to sell well.
      So they are trying to prevent that.

    • viciosodiego - 7 years ago

      Agreed with you.
      This is not good for amazon.
      Users will just go to other sources for there media.

    • viciosodiego - 7 years ago

      If you don’t give the consumer an option, what amazon is doing now, the consumer just looks for other options.
      Simple Business.

  14. Matt Taylor - 7 years ago

    Well I won’t be renewing my prime in a few weeks if there is no tvOS app, and by the sounds of it, nor will any of my friends!

  15. rogifan - 7 years ago

    Why should Amazon care what hardware you buy so long as your a Prime subscriber? Is there something special about the Fire TV? Do people that own a Fire TV spend more money on

  16. Inaba-kun (@Inaba_kun) - 7 years ago

    Really childish behaviour from Amazon, and not even consistent. Their hilarious and clearly nonsense excuse makes no sense, as Amazon UK is still selling the Roku, despite it never having an Amazon Video UK app. So what about all that “customer confusion” Amazon?

    Netflix is loved partly because it’s platform agnostic. Amazon clearly no longer is, and if they think that will suddenly propel Fire TV sales upwards, they’ll be sorely disappointed.

  17. Santiago Medina-Saenz - 7 years ago

    I will be doing my purchases on Ebay from now on… smh @Amazon

  18. realgurahamu - 7 years ago

    Antitrust lawsuit coming – Amazon have clearly done this to thwart competition – which is actually illegal as it is damaging to any companies which it happens to – and also Amazon being a market place has no right to disallow sale of a specific product if it isn’t breaking laws

  19. dwsolberg - 7 years ago

    I thought Amazon was the place to buy the stuff I need. Now I’m confused.

  20. taoprophet420 - 7 years ago

    The iOS Amazon prime instant app supports AirPlay so you can use the service on Apple TV

    I think Amazon wants an prominent spot on the Apple TV home screen. Roku has or has had Amazon buttons to launch the Amazon app and is why it’s not worried about Roku.

    • Inaba-kun (@Inaba_kun) - 7 years ago

      Isnt it the case that the Prime app for the Roku is years old and has far less functionality than Prime on other platforms?

      I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Amazon never update it, and Roku are stuck with a legacy app frozen in time forever. Don’t count on any new Prime features, such as 4K, coming to the Roku.

      Amazon are only interested in selling Fire TVs now.

    • viciosodiego - 7 years ago

      Apple does not put netflix by default on apple tv home screen.
      Amazon is crying because they want people to subscribe.
      What amazon should do is make it more attractive.

  21. Dave Haupert - 7 years ago

    The real reason Amazon is banning the Apple TV is not that they aren’t letting apps for it (they are as you know)- it’s that the apps can’t allow purchases of movies unless they go through iTunes store purchases (with Apple taking 30%). The Prime TV app on iOS only lets you watch things you bought via the browser or another device, but you can’t even sign up for prime on it. Amazon said back in early October they’d only sell devices that offered the complete experience for Amazon movies and to them that includes rentals. Roku is still there because it’s easy to purchase movies from Amazon right on the device.

    • viciosodiego - 7 years ago

      Why are they not selling chrome cast?

    • Jonny - 7 years ago

      But that’s the same restriction on iOS and their apps (video and books) are both there. They (Apple) can forego the option to subscribe in the app and just have a sign-in for people who are already subscribers, they can charge the normal rate and lose out on what Apple takes, or they can charge a premium to subscribers on iOS.

  22. Howie Isaacks - 7 years ago

    When their own TV offering goes down the toilet (just like their phone), they will start selling Apple TVs again.

  23. James Katt - 7 years ago

    Prime TV simply sucks. I have Prime but I don’t watch Prime TV. It simply does not have a good enough selection compared to the competition.

  24. modeyabsolom - 7 years ago

    Naughty buggers! That’s uncompetitive.

  25. Paul Andrew Dixon - 7 years ago

    This is a douche move from amazon… they are an online retail store who decided to make their own products… they could quite easily release an app for chromecast and apple TV, but either they chose not to or apple and google chose not to allow it.

    They should also remove any e-reader that isnt compatible with amazon kindle store…and remove any phone that is not like the amazon phone… and they should remove all second hand merchandise that is ‘confusing’ whether it is new or not etc…

    Basically they are saying “dear customers… we think that you are very stupid and unable to know anything about the products we sell…so to help you out, rather than make it clear via our advertisement or our website by adding ‘not compatible with prime video/music’ on apple TV products, we will just get rid of the competition and only force our stuff on you and make you go elsewhere”

    The 3rd gen apple TV has been on their for the past year while amazon prime has been up and running – so whats the real issue…

    Are they an online retailer, or are they an amazon only manufacturing company???

    Maybe they should have an amazon only branded section of the site – oh wait, they do…

    Such idiots

  26. pki730 - 7 years ago

    A pitiful and desperate attempt by Amazon to hurt Apple TV sales. It clearly won’t have any adverse effect on Apple sales but it will hurt Amazon with all the bad press they’ll get for their decision which smacks of incompetence at the highest levels.

    • Td mac (@tdsmac) - 7 years ago

      I don’t think this hurts Amazon at all. For one, this won’t affect their Prime memberships. Most people get Prime for the shipping not for any content. As a heavy Apple user, this wouldn’t affect me buying a new ATV or affecting my Prime membership anyway. Amazon, not selling ATV’s isn’t hurting their bottom line for the statement being made. They also know that most people would order via Apple at release versus other outlets. So no real loss in sales. They made up for it in publicity about them not being on the new ATV. Again, this isn;t going to make people now run out and go buy a Fire. But it will help Fire Tablet sales possibly for the holiday season. Also, Since Amazon listings don’t work under the current universal search functionality they aren’t loosing anything by not being on the new ATV. Past ATV users are already used to airplaying the Amazon content off another iDevice via the iOS app. So its not like you can;t still view your content on the new ATV. Yes, I would love Amazon to show up as a choice but until its seamless for Amazon, and others for that manner, to search cross all channels does it really matter? Also, hands down, I find Apple’s quality of the stream hands down better then any Amazon stream I have tried. So I typically choose iTunes for movies, even if $1 more. Unless of course its free on Prime, HBO, SHO, etc. This is why the Universal search across all platforms/apps/channel is important. That will be the time Amazon Makes an App, starts selling the new ATV and promotes it all along side Prime content announcements.

  27. Td mac (@tdsmac) - 7 years ago

    Lets look at this and assess some things.

    Their statement about pulling the devices due to customer confusion is BS. They easily could have mandated an icon or disclaimer that must be shown for any device that does not support Amazon Prime. To drive that message.
    For one, the initial threat gave Amazon some headlines and help drive awareness in regard to Prime. This also occurred like a week after Amazon ran the Prime promo using the Emmy win to drum up subscribers. So it kept their name in the news cycle for a few weeks.
    They set the devices being pulled to occur after the release of the new ATV. ATV gets released and that gets the headlines. Then pull the devices and get the headlines for yourself. I see a few things at play here. For one, it could be possible that Amazon has a large inventory of Fire devices and is looking to push those for the holiday season. Also, while the universal search feature of Siri WILL be opened up to third party apps its not their yet. Thus, when you search, Amazon content will not appear in the list. So, I can see that while they can do an App now, it almost makes no sense and can make a statement at the same time. They want to be on par with others. My guess is that these updates will happen next month or after the holiday season. This also makes sense for an update time frame from Apple cause it would coincide with devices people have received as gifts over the holiday season. I’m sure they are also looking to see customer feedback and uptake of the new Apple TV.

    Unless of course Amazon is hoping to do a power play and just withholding their content and trying to join forces with Spotify to raise the issue about the unfairness of having to pay the 30% fee on purchases through the app. However, I believe Apple is looking into making changes, especially on subscription service fee’s. Wouldn’t be surprised if this occurs at the same time as the universal search functionality. I’m going to say that Amazon will have an app and it will occur after the new year. Maybe it will occur with the announcement of Season 2 of transparent or some other new Prime show to drum up publicity.

  28. JBDragon - 7 years ago

    Amazon Prime service works on iOS devices and as far as I know, you can then Airplay to a Apple TV anyway, so blocking Apple TV sales seems to be just dumb! Why would anyone looking for a Apple TV, not finding one on Amazon then go, “Might as well buy a Amazon Fire!” I mean really? I’d just take my shopping someplace else. Killing sales from even 3rd party’s seems dumb also.

  29. Leif Paul Ashley - 7 years ago

    That’s ok. Because while I won’t go looking for “Amazon specific” products that suck, I will go looking for AppleTV that works. And yes, I own a Kindle Fire TV… it’s in my desk drawer.