Amazon is making moves into TV with the announcement that Best Buy will start selling Fire TV Edition sets from Toshiba and its in-house brand Insignia this summer.
The rollout will start with 11 models of smart TVs - both HD and 4K - across the two brands in the summer and, we'd expect, could expand significantly once Amazon gets more partners on board.
The Fire TV Edition TVs will have full Alexa voice controls - via a Voice Remote or a paired Echo smart speaker - so you'll be able to say things like "Alexa, watch ABC" and "Alexa, watch Westworld". Alexa will control launching apps, switching sources, playing music and controlling smart home devices via the TV.
The TVs will be available in Best Buy's stores in the US and Canada and online from Best Buy's site and its portal on Amazon. We don't have any prices yet or any more specs or details of sizes and models.
So far Amazon has focused on selling its Fire TV streaming sticks as cheap accessories to make existing TVs smart. But like Google with its Chromecast built in scheme, it's now turning more towards building the technology into TVs. Existing Fire TV Edition from Westinghouse and Element haven't made much of an impact.
Amazon's CEO Jeff Bezos said "the product is killer" in a tweet and even though Amazon and Best Buy have been rivals, Bezos said the multi-year partnership on smart TVs takes their partnership "to a new level".
There's already been concerns around the future of rival streaming tech company Roku which is a really great option if you don't want you lock yourself in to one service. Best Buy's Insignia brand will no longer make Roku-powered smart TVs though Best Buy will still sell Roku TVs and devices.
Source: Wall Street Journal