Amazon had previously said it would be removing all Apple TV and Google Chromecast devices from its online retail listings, and now it has followed through on its promise. As of today, all listings of the devices through the company as well as via third-party sellers have been removed, and customers searching for the units are redirected to listings for a Fire TV device.
The planned move first became apparent not through an official announcement by Amazon, but via an email to resellers with whom it partners, advising them that the company would be discontinuing sales of the products at the end of October. Media requests for confirmation of the new policy were met with the following statement from the company:
"Over the last three years, Prime Video has become an important part of Prime. It's important that the streaming media players we sell interact well with Prime Video in order to avoid customer confusion. Roku, Xbox, PlayStation and Fire TV are excellent choices."
Now, Amazon has followed through on its promise to eradicate the competing products from its site. A search for "Chromecast" results in a series of listings topped by "Amazon Fire TV Stick." The items which follow do include several accessories for the Chromecast dongle, however, such as a mini-USB power cable for the device. Amazon also still lists both paperback and Kindle edition books related to the use of the device, such as "Chromecast: Go from Chromecast Beginner to Master in 1 Hour or Less! (Master Your Chromecast Device)"
A search for Apple TV results in listings for the Amazon Fire TV Stick, Amazon Fire TV, and other media players.
Amazon's claim that the removal of the competing products is being done to avoid customer confusion appears disingenuous. Clearly, customers will only be more confused when they search for a product they have a specific interest in buying only to discover it is nowhere to be found and that they have been redirected to another product manufactured by Amazon. While the company might earn a few more dollars by steering customers away from their original purchase interests to its own products, is that really worth the loss of goodwill when loyal Amazon customers realize they are being manipulated?