Why does Amazon want a branded TV?
Amazon.com reportedly plans to market its own branded TVs in the U.S., possibly as soon as October.
Citing sources familiar with the matter, Business Insider said the TV will be designed and manufactured by China-based TCL, range between 55 to 75 inches and have Alexa built in. Amazon Devices and Lab126, the R&D team behind the Kindle and Fire TV Stick, are collaborating on the project that’s been covertly in development for nearly two years.
Amazon is also developing a separate TV product that it is designing in-house, according to the report.
In the TV space, Amazon offers a streaming service, Amazon Prime Video, to Prime subscribers and sells a wide range of Fire TV devices that hook up to TVs to deliver streaming content. An Amazon Basics TV has been sold in India Since late 2020. Amazon earlier this year partnered with Best Buy to sell Toshiba and Insignia TVs that run on Fire TV software.
It is unknown whether Amazon plans to compete head-on with Sony, LG and Samsung or target the budget market as a way to further extend Alexa technology’s reach into households. A few analysts seem to be betting on the latter.
“The idea appears to be ‘owning the living room’ as a hub for entertainment and retail purchases,” Wells Fargo analyst Steven Cahall speculated in a note last week, according to Investor’s Business Daily.
Bradley Gastwirth, at Wedbush Securities, said, “Clearly Amazon is looking to significantly broaden its position in the home.”
Amazon’s consumer electronics pursuits include its $1 billion purchase in 2018 of video doorbell maker Ring. Amazon has suffered some flops with its in-house developed products, such as with the Fire Phone flop, but also successes with Fire TV devices, the Kindle and the Echo smart speaker that introduced Alexa technology. Alexa voice technology has been integrated across a wide range of smart devices including most recently on an air fryer.
The habit of using Echo to make purchases, however, has been slow to develop with many believing the reluctance is due largely to the lack of a screen. A screen version, Echo Show, debuted in 2017, but most consumers still own smart speakers without displays.
- Amazon is close to launching its own TV in the US – Business Insider
- Amazon Plans For Branded Television Pressure Roku, Vizio Shares – Investor’s Business Daily
- Amazon Is Reportedly Making Its Own TVs Because of Course It Is – Gizmodo
- Amazon reportedly releasing its own big-screen TVs with Alexa features – New York Post
- Will voice shopping ever take off without screens? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How important is the introduction of Amazon-branded TVs to the company’s efforts to accelerate the use of Alexa-voice technology as a purchasing tool? Do you see major disruption coming to the television category?