Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) is attempting to compete with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) in the TV space. The company recently announced Fire TV updates, a move that could end up turning many seekers away from Apple TV. The revamped Fire TV, still priced below the Apple TV, supports streaming of YouTube video in 4K content quality. Apple TV doesn’t have 4K video support.
In addition, Amazon has moved closer to making the Fire TV a mini Amazon Echo speaker by bringing more Alexa voice support to the device. With that, you can use your voice to search for restaurants in your neighborhood through the Fire TV. The Alexa feature also allows you to search for movies playing in the nearby theatres conveniently through the Fire TV device.
As a refresher, Amazon’s Echo can help consumers shop online, play Spotify music and check fitness status on the Fitbit wearable among other things.
The updated Fire TV also makes it possible to launch media playback simply through voice command. The playback feature not only works with Amazon’s native shows, but also with third-party apps such as Hulu and HBO.
When are the updates coming?
Amazon is scheduled to roll out the updates for Fire TV in the coming weeks. The move comes at a time when the company has been talking about growing demand for its Fire TV device. Perhaps the uptick in demand for Fire TV is supported by the absence of Apple’s Apple TV on Amazon’s retail website. Amazon stopped carrying Apple TV on its e-commerce platform as competition between the companies in the media streaming market intensifies.
The lower cost of the Fire TV could also be a factor fueling the demand for video streaming. While the cheapest version of the new Apple TV starts at $150, you can get the Fire TV for just $100.
Amazon’s latest move with Fire TV could put more pressure on Apple given that the iPhone maker is already struggling with shrinking smartphone sales.