Amazon, Best Buy Partner to Sell Smart TVs

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos with Best Buy

The Richfield-based retailer will roll out almost a dozen 4K and HD Fire TV Edition models from Toshiba and Insignia, the latter of which is one of Best Buy's private-label brands, starting this summer.

Amazon has teamed up with its retail-rival Best Buy in a multiyear partnership to sell the second generation of smart TVs running Amazon's Fire TV operating system. "Clearly, Amazon has been a leader in the bolt-on business with the Fire TV sticks and boxes, but they were behind a little bit in getting out to televisions". The deal will begin with "more than 11" models of Insignia and Toshiba TVs going on sale at Best Buys this summer. Fire TV Edition-branded TVs come with Fire TV software built-in, as well as Echo pairing capabilities and an Alexa remote. "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".

But the smart TV and voice assistant field is growing increasingly crowded.

The new TVs from Toshiba and Insignia will be branded "Fire TVs" and stream content from apps such as Netflix, HBO, PlayStation Vue, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video. This will be the first time Best Buy sells products on Amazon. Roku shares fell 7% Wednesday as a result.

Now Roku responded to the Amazon news today, telling CNET's Ben Rubin: "The Roku TV program has great momentum".




Best Buy claims this partnership is an example of the consumer electronic retailer's role in working with the world's foremost technology companies, helping to commercialise their innovations and bring them to life for the consumer.

Best Buy said it plans only to sell the Fire TV models on Amazon's site, and no other products.

Best Buy has survived Amazon's pressure on retail outlets partly by building out its own online commerce efforts.

The new arrangement is an exclusive partnership for multiple years, and should yield more exciting products in the future.

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