Online retail giant Amazon doesn’t have the best record when it comes to building hardware. While its Kindle range of e-Readers were well received, the company’s first smartphone, the ‘Fire Phone’, was a complete flop: massively expensive, with very few features to justify its cost. But that doesn’t mean the company has given up on hardware for good, rather the company is refocusing on what it does best: media content.
Amazon is taking the fight directly to Google
Its latest product, released just yesterday is intended to take the fight directly to the company’s main competitor, Google. The Fire Stick is a new multimedia streaming device built by Amazon which has much of the same functionality of Google’s popular Chromecast dongle, with increased ease of interaction and a similar, low price point.
The Fire Stick comes in two parts, a USB plug-in streaming device, and a secondary IR remote control. In terms of specs, the stick is claimed to be the most powerful on the market, with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage, delivering 6 times the processing power of the Chromecast. In addition it features dual band and dual antenna WiFi designed for fast download of data.
Once installed, the Fire Stick gives a user access to a wide range of media content ready for easy viewing. This includes access to Amazon’s wide catalogue of content through its Amazon TV service, as well as access other popular video streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu and ESPN. It can also be used with music streaming sites such as Spotify and Pandora giving access to millions of potential tracks.
At just $39 dollars the Fire Stick is in the same category of low-cost streaming devices as the Chromecast and the Roku Streaming Stick. Despite this, its remote based interface is much more intuitive than that the app-based controls of its competitors. Furthermore, the device’s access to the huge amount of Amazon-only content, means that it retains significant added value for its buyers. Given this, Amazon should see significant success with this new device.
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