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Amazon, Best Buy unite their Smart TV strategy

Best Buy will be exclusive
retailer for the next generation of smart TVs Fire TV Edition of Amazon in
United States and Canada, as part of a new multi-year partnership that companies announced Wednesday.

Best Buy will be
Carry more than 10 models of 4K and HD Fire TV Edition of Insignia and
Toshiba from this summer.

The new smart TVs will integrate the integrated Fire TV experience,
allowing viewers to enjoy live TV live
programming as well as broadcasting content from various sources
including Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, HBO, PlayStation Vue and Hulu.

Fire TV Smart TV Edition

The Fire TV Edition smart TVs come with a voice remote with Alexa,
This allows users to access applications, search for TV shows, play music, adjust TV settings and inputs, and control other smart home devices. Sets can be associated with an Amazon Echo device.

"Amazon and Best Buy have a long history of collaboration, and
Today, we are leading our partnership to a new level, "said Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon." These Fire Edition smart TVs from Insignia and Toshiba offer beautiful visuals and all the movies and TV shows that you like, with a
experience that improves every day with Alexa. "

Seeing is believing

For many, Amazon has become the unavoidable reseller for everything
books at the grocery store, and consumer electronics are
among its strongest categories. However, TVs are still something many consumers
want to see before making a purchase. It makes sense that Amazon would like products
with its Fire TV feature to display in a large brick and mortar retailer such as Best Buy.

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"In the case of products like TVs, it's always important to evaluate
in person to judge the quality of the image, "said Paul Gagnon, executive
director of consumer devices at IHS Markit.

"Many other consumer electronics products are purchased
specification but our experience is that consumers in the United States still
prefers to evaluate the performance of audio and video products before
purchase, "he told the E-Commerce Times.

"This is especially true with larger TVs," said Stephen Baker, vice
President and Industrial Consultant for Technology and Mobile at The NDP

"Small TVs – those 37 inches and under – still sell online, but
Amazon certainly recognizes that to get scale for Fire OS products
there must be a solid store experience, "he said
E-Commerce Times.

Competition of the television market

The Best Buy deal allows Amazon to introduce its products into
more TVs than potential buyers will see in the exhibition halls.

"Smart TVs currently account for over 70% of TV sales
In North America, it is therefore an important category, "notes IHS & Gagnon.

It's not just about smart TVs, though. This is a way to increase the visibility of the fire
Operating system brand.

"Smart TV proprietary platforms for Samsung and LG are still
important, but Roku TV has increased significantly in 2017 as
third-party platform, similar to Fire TV, "said Gagnon.

Roku was the No. 2 operating system platform for smart TVs in
North America in 2017, and no doubt Amazon would like to get a
piece of this market.

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"To get there, Amazon must be on the TVs that customers recognize and
Trust, and Best Buy's Insignia and Toshiba are doing well, "said NPD's Baker.

More cooperation than competition

Amazon has long been considered a threat to traditional retailers – and
it's certainly true when it comes to consumer electronics – but in this
case, the mutual benefits overshadow the competition.

"Best Buy is now a strong and growing retailer, and while it's competing with
Amazon, he can also be a partner with Amazon, "said Baker.

"In this case, it is not Amazon as a retailer but as a
hardware company; so this movement has little to do with this normal
competition but is really on the Amazon hardware need a wider
platform in the stores as they compete with Roku and other platforms on
smart TVs, "he added.

However, Best Buy's involvement in helping an online retailer – even
in a hardware partnership – suggests that there is more to that.

"What the Amazon / Best Buy partnership tells us is that both the
e-commerce and the brick-and-mortar sides of the retail story are
faced with different types of pressures, and that by working together they
believe that they are more likely to succeed, "said Elizabeth Lim,
senior research analyst at

"In the case of Amazon, although they are known these days to disrupt and
fear in traditional sectors – for example, in retail
in health care – they still need to increase their market
Share, "she told the E-Commerce Times.

"For Best Buy, it's about survival and access to
dominant electronic business platform, "said Lim.

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"Although they tried to build their
own platform, it's really a case of "if you can not beat them, join
She added, "With regard to this Fire Edition smart TV, by
increase consumer access to this type of product – they can
choose to buy them in person in Best Buy or online via Amazon –
consumers are more likely to be interested in these articles and to talk
about them in their networks, and all parties seem to win in the

Peter Suciu has been a reporter for ECT News Network since 2012. His areas of interest are cybersecurity, mobile phones, screens, media pay television and autonomous vehicles. He has written and edited for numerous publications and websites, including Newsweek Wired and
Email Peter.