Amazon announced this morning that its Chromecast competitor called the Fire TV Stick, which the company also revealed is the “fastest-selling Amazon device ever,” is now shipping to customers on a first-come, first-serve basis. The dongle’s immediately popularity likely came from the introductory price Amazon offered its Prime subscribers – the company sold it for only $19 for the first few days of its availability.
Normally, the device will retail for $39. Like the Chromecast, the Kindle Fire TV Stick plugs into your TV’s HDMI port to offer you access to streaming video including Netflix, Prime Instant Video, Hulu Plus, Twitch, WatchESPN, NBA, Showtime Anytime, Prime Music, Plex, PBS, A&E, Watch Disney Chanel, and more. Users can also rent or buy movies and TV shows from Amazon Instant Video which today offers over 200,000 titles, plus access photos, apps, and games.
Additionally, the Fire TV Stick lets you playback content from your iOS or Android smartphone or tablet, including from apps like YouTube and Spotify. You can also mirror your Fire OS and Android devices to the big screen of the TV, much like you can with Chromecast.
Device owners can use the Fire TV Remote app for Fire phone, Android or iOS to navigate the on-screen selections, including via voice search, or they can purchase a Fire TV Voice Remote for $29.99.
Amazon continues to refer to its competition by name when discussing the new device, saying it has a dual-core processor and “2x the memory of Chromecast,” for example. The dongle offers dual-band, dual-antenna (MIMO) Wi-Fi, 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB of local storage, and Amazon-exclusive features like its ASAP technology for instant streaming.
If you haven’t ordered the now $39 Fire TV Stick yet, you can secure your place in line, but it’s unclear when Amazon will be able to ship your device. Amazon made no commitments on the matter, such as confirming you would be able to receive it by the holidays, for instance.
“Fire TV Stick has been our most successful device launch ever,” Dave Limp, Senior Vice President, Amazon Devices, said in a statement. “We built a ton of these, but customer demand still outpaced our supply. We’re excited by the overwhelming customer response and the team is working hard to build more as quickly as possible.”