You can order your fourth-generation Apple TV and have it shipped to your doorstep, or you can pick it up in many of Cupertino’s stores. You could have preordered the new set top box from Best Buy for in-store delivery, and MacRumors noted that some of those orders were showing availability to pick up today, Oct. 30. But do you know where you won’t be able to purchase your new Apple TV? Amazon.
A search for the Apple TV on Amazon’s digital storefront yields nothing made by Apple. Instead, you’ll get the Amazon Fire TV Stick, the PlayStation TV, the Amazon Fire TV, and Roku devices, among other non-Apple products.
In all fairness, we knew this was coming. Amazon previously announced it would ban sales of the Apple TV and Google Chromecast, because those devices offer no support for the retailer’s Prime Video subscriptions. Amazon stated that the move was going to be made because “It’s important that the streaming media players we sell interact well with Prime Video in order to avoid customer confusion.”
This move both makes sense and doesn’t. True, Amazon wants to bolster subscriptions to its Prime membership, which includes the all-you-can-eat streaming video service. On the other hand, with the App Store available on the Apple TV, Cupertino isn’t really stopping Amazon from creating its own branded software to support Prime Video.
So why doesn’t Amazon do this? The company has never stated why it has never created an app or channel for Apple TV, but we can presume that Amazon isn’t ready to pay Apple’s mandated 30 percent cut of content sales. I suppose I can understand that, but I, and I’m sure others, still don’t like it.
Banning the Apple TV from Amazon’s digital store shelves is unfortunate, and I wish the company had decided instead to create its own channel or app for the set top box. I’d love to be able to stream my Prime Video subscription to my Apple TV, and the inability to do so makes one reason why Cupertino’s set top box won’t be the only thing plugged into my television.