Amazon, Best Buy Partner to Sell Smart TVs

Apr 20, 2018, 00:27
Amazon, Best Buy Partner to Sell Smart TVs

Starting this summer, Best Buy will sell 11 TV models powered by Amazon, including Toshiba and its in-house brand Insignia. In exchange, Best Buy (BBY) will be a third-party seller on Amazon.com, giving the retailer access to Amazon's (AMZN) vast customer network.

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

The partnership with Amazon is an example of Best Buy's role in working with technology companies, helping to commercialize their innovations.

Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO, said in a statement, "These Fire Edition smart TVs by Insignia and Toshiba deliver lovely visuals and all the movies and TV shows you love, with an experience that gets better every day with Alexa". The partnership is a win for both companies. The TV's will also be sold on Best Buy's website.

Best Buy has more than 1,000 brick and mortar stores across the USA.

TVs are a challenge for Amazon, as consumers might be disinclined to buy a TV sight unseen. With true-to-life 4K UHD picture quality, premium Dolby surround sound, and access to all the movies and TV shows you love, Fire TV Edition delivers a superior TV experience that gets smarter everyday with Alexa.

The televisions will be branded "Fire TVs", the same name Amazon uses for its streaming set-top boxes.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos boasted that the new TVs will "deliver attractive visuals and all the movies and TV shows you love, with an experience that gets better every day with Alexa".

This partnership also shows that Amazon realizes it needs to cooperate with retailers as it becomes more of a hardware company, Baker said.

There is no word on exact release date just yet, or specific models or pricing.

The new Fire TV Edition televisions can be operated with voice commands using the Amazon Alexa personal assistant software. Customers can learn more at www.bestbuy.com/FireTVEdition or www.amazon.com/FireTVEdition.

Shares of Roku Inc., a pioneer in streaming devices and smart TVs, plunged 9% Wednesday.

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