Amazon 'Aggressive' on Fire TV
By Judith Aparri | April 22, 2014 5:45 PM EST
It's all about streaming music, games, photos, videos and many more for a television. A remote control and gaming controller go along with it. The new Fire TV is Amazon's huge entry into the entertainment world, which is a box that brings video from Amazon services to the living room.
Amazon's vice president of Kindle, Peter Larsen speaks to media as he displays the Amazon Fire TV during a news conference in New York, April 2, 2014. Amazon.com Inc unveiled a $99 video streaming device called Fire TV that the e-commerce company promised would be more powerful and easier to use than rival services by Apple Inc, Google Inc and Roku. Amazon is a latecomer to the set-top TV market that is dominated by the Apple TV. Amazon customers have a large appetite for film and TV, but many already own similar devices, analysts said.
Fire TV sets itself apart from the others with its ability to play games and its "unified voice search," which provides a way to filter thousands of titles that it offers. The latter was even Fire TV's selling point in its first commercial.
In reality, it fell short of its promise in the initial release. The lack of voice search on the TV becomes a main criticism in its early reviews. On April 17, Amazon announced it is extending the voice search capabilities of fire TV to several third-party apps like Hulu Plus, Showtime's app and Crackle starting summer. The three apps will be with Vevo, allowing users to voice search content through Amazon's remote.
If Amazon keeps on adding capabilities to its apps catalog partners which are already on its platform like YouTube or Netflix, it will become equally competitive like Microsoft, Roku and Apple to conquer more household living rooms. It's now time for Amazon to have the right pace of delivering its promises and improve its products.
AppleInsider quoted Piper Jaffray Analyst Gene Munster saying he believes the launching of Amazon Fire TV which offers content options that excel that of Apple and should be an inspiration for the Cupertino guys to "focus product line" Apple TV.
Munster cited content partners and available games for set-top boxes in which Roku has 1,300 partners and stays at the top. Fire TV follows with 41 while Apple TV has 31. With regard to available games, Fire TV leads with 133. Roku and Apple have 77 and zero, respectively.
Meanwhile, Apple TV is currently staying strong in sales even if it has not been updated for about 2 years.
Rumors have it that Apple will be coming up with a new model with an expanded platform to accommodate the App Store for downloading games and channels. For the full-fledge television from Cupertino, hearsays about it subsided as speculations suggested Apple is not interested in such market when Steve Jobs called it a "terrible business."
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