Amazon Could Launch Its Own Branded Fire TV Later This Year
In the coming weeks, Amazon might introduce its own line of big screen televisions in the United States, perhaps under its Amazon Basics branding. This would be a significant move, and one that could potentially benefit consumers with aggressively priced alternatives to TVs offered by the usual suspects, including LG, Samsung, and Sony.
While nothing has been announced, it wouldn't be surprising if this comes to fruition. The retailer already launched a line of Amazon Basics TVs in India last year, including 55-inch, 50-inch, and 43-inch models, all three of which boast a 4K resolution, 60Hz refresh rate, speakers with Dolby Atmos, and smart functionality provided by Amazon's Fire TV operating system.
In the US, however, Amazon up to this point has focused on partnering with companies like Toshiba and Insignia to sell Fire TV models with varying feature-sets. What's at play here is something different. Amazon is apparently interested in offering its own brand TVs with built-in Fire TV software, and could launch its first models in the US as early as October of this year.
According to Business Insider, this upcoming move has been a "closely guarded secret" at Amazon, and is something the company has been planning for the past couple of years. Teams from Amazon Devices and Lab126 have been working together on the effort.
As it stands, the first Amazon TV models will be ones built by third-parties, including TCL, which makes some of Samsung's TVs. They will carry Amazon's branding and come in sizes ranging from 55 inches to 75 inches. It's not mentioned what kind of panels will be used, but we suspect these will be LCD as opposed to OLED, the latter of which is typically more expensive.
At the same time, Amazon is said to be working on a different TV lineup that it is designing in-house. It's not clear what the timing looks like for these, but it is a potentially more exciting development, depending on what Amazon's goals are, and how much it wants to compete with established players.
Amazon has not been afraid to venture into hardware, as it has done with its Fire TV tablets, streaming dongles, Echo speakers, and other devices. Some of this has come through acquisitions, like Nest. And not everything has been a success, such as the short-lived Fire Phone (yes, Amazon tried its hand at smartphones).
We're cautiously optimistic the foray into TVs will work out. Pricing on big screen TVs have come down quite a bit over the past several years, and having another major player could lead to even more bang for your buck.