Amazon.com (amzn) has lined up a major partner to help it sell televisions that run on its new Fire TV operating system: one-time bitter rival Best Buy (bby). The two companies said on Wednesday they will sell 11 models as of this summer, including TVs by Toshiba and Best Buy's own Insignia brand. "These Fire Edition smart TVs by Insignia and Toshiba deliver attractive visuals and all the movies and TV shows you love, with an experience that gets better every day with Alexa".
This also gives Amazon more leverage in terms of connecting your smart TV with your smart home, including video doorbells and lighting systems, among other technologies. They can also be paired with a separate Echo device for external voice control.
"Our partnership with Amazon is exciting because we believe Fire TV Edition delivers an incredible user experience and further strengthens the growing connection between home theater, home automation and voice control".
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Executives hinted in a press conference that built-in Alexa capability could be coming soon, too.
It will continue to add new Alexa skills, software features, and applications to the smart TV platform after launch to provide even more value for money to customers. Additional models will then be released throughout the year.
Translation: Yes, Best Buy has this splashy new deal with Amazon that makes it a preferred third-partys seller on Amazon's site.
And in the previous year, Best Buy has rolled out Amazon Alexa displays, as well as those for Google Home, to 700 stores to better explain how to link those devices to other household gadgets. At the same time, if you're convinced, running to Amazon for a cheaper price will take you straight back to Best Buy. As Amazon rose in the electronics segment, Best Buy seemed doomed to cede share. "In fact, Amazon was more expensive on 13% to 14% of those similar items". Retail availability will extend to Canada "later this year".