There have been loads of merchandise revealed this week and on the centre of this deluge was Amazon’s newest vary of Hearth and Alexa-enabled merchandise.
What caught my eye from a TV perspective was the new Fire TV Cube. I’d interviewed Daniel Rausch, Vice President, Leisure Gadgets and Companies at Amazon earlier in 2022 and I broached the subject of whether or not there can be a brand new Hearth TV Dice in 2022 and if Amazon had any curiosity in doing a premium Hearth TV Dice that might compete with Apple.
As you possibly can guess he gave nothing away, however this announcement exhibits that Amazon did harbour ambitions to problem Apple within the premium space of the streaming market.
It’s an attention-grabbing gambit by Amazon as a result of at first look the specs correlate equally to the Apple TV 4K, and with the Alexa Distant Professional it appears as if Amazon has cribbed just a few notes from Apple’s latest Siri distant.
It doesn’t have as a lot storage – 16GB in comparison with the Apple TV 4K’s 32 and 64GB configurations – and though the Hearth TV Dice 3 jumps in worth by £30, it hits a inexpensive RRP at £139.99 in comparison with Apple’s £169.99, which provides them the prime (pun meant) benefit.
The Apple TV 4K 2021 has, for me, by no means fairly reached the candy spot the place I’d be tempted to buy. It’s in all probability the rationale why Apple’s streaming containers have by no means actually offered in mass portions, and for house cinema fans who need flexibility of their set-ups, the Hearth TV Dice 3 appears just like the extra versatile possibility with its wider collection of inputs and ports.
This doesn’t imply its an absolute slam dunk for the Hearth TV Dice 3. These adverts that litter the interface are going to bother quite a lot of individuals who assume they shouldn’t actually be seeing them contemplating they (possible) already pay for Amazon Prime. And provided that that is an Amazon product, it solely actually is smart for Prime and Alexa customers – although you possibly can say the identical about iOS customers for the Apple TV 4K.
As properties turn into smarter than Amazon’s merchandise begin to stretch their legs. Privateness considerations however, Alexa is by far the most well-liked voice assistant and as is the case with lots of Amazon’s merchandise of late, the combination with different companies akin to Ring is changing into a lot nearer knit whereas Apple’s HomeKit is an ecosystem that performs a lot nicer with Apple merchandise.
So can Amazon beat Apple? I believe they’ve a great shot at squeezing Apple on this space of the market because the Hearth TV Dice 3 would, on paper, look like extra accommodating. What threatens to spoil the social gathering and switch a attainable victory into a possible loss is Amazon’s strategy (or lack of) to bundling equipment.
The HDMI and IR extender cables are offered individually, whereas the streamer solely comes with the Alexa Hearth TV distant and never the Professional mannequin. That suggests Amazon is skimping on just a few objects to hit its cheaper price and as soon as you purchase these equipment, the worth benefit will successfully be eroded.
The shortage of HDMI cable being bundled was annoying with the primary mannequin and the actual fact neither it nor the IR extender is included is doubly annoying. Who would buy the Dice after which pay further for the Professional distant? In case you’re shopping for the very best streamer Amazon has to supply, it must have every little thing you want within the field.
I get the sense that the Hearth TV Dice 3 will get shut however then flubs the dismount for a great however imperfect touchdown however we’ll have to attend and see when evaluations begin to roll in. And so they missed a trick by not calling if the Hearth TV Cubed. It was proper there for the taking, Amazon.