Google and Apple Streaming Devices Are Coming Back to Amazon

Amazon made the bold decision in 2015 to stop selling some of the most popular streaming devices on the market. Coincidentally, those were the streaming devices made by Apple and Google, which compete with Amazon’s own Fire lineup. This irked many consumers, but Apple and Google both have their own storefronts to sell hardware. Amazon now says it’s bringing back the previously banned devices, but it’s reluctant to explain why.

When Amazon pulled the Apple TV and Google Chromecast, it did so with the rationale that it didn’t want consumers to be confused by the lack of Prime Video support on those platforms. It implied that Apple and Google were somehow to blame, but of course, it’s entirely up to Amazon to build app support for these platforms. It’s actually gone out of its way to make sure no one can stream Prime Video on Chromecasts by killing third-party workarounds. This always seemed much more about pushing the Fire devices than “confused consumers.”

It’s unclear what caused Amazon to give in, but it will soon offer the Apple TV, Apple TV 4K, Chromecast, and Chromecast Ultra (4K) for sale on its site. In the case of Apple, Amazon finally came through with a Prime Video app for Apple’s streaming box earlier this month. That takes care of Amazon’s claimed objection. Things are much more complicated when it comes to Google.

Amazon’s decision to drop Chromecast devices from its site kicked off a very public feud. Google ended up blocking YouTube on Amazon’s Echo Show earlier this year. When Amazon developed a workaround, Google blocked it again and added the Fire TV to the block list for good measure. Neither company has announced a change in that standoff, but perhaps the restoration of Chromecast devices on Amazon is an olive branch of sorts.

Technically, Google’s YouTube blockade on the Fire TV doesn’t start until January 1st, so Amazon could be trying to work things out with Mountain View before that deadline. The Fire TV is a much more important device for streaming video than the Echo Show, so losing YouTube would be a blow.

The newly listed Amazon and Google devices are still showing as “currently unavailable” on Amazon, but you can sign up to be notified when they are available. Hopefully, Amazon is planning to add Chromecast support to its streaming apps or it risks really confusing everyone who buys a Chromecast, right?

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