After announcing that Amazon would stop selling the Apple TV, it looks like the company might be working on a tvOS app for Apple’s new device after all. Dan Bostonweeks got an email from Amazon saying that the engineering team is currently working on an Apple TV app.
As a reminder, there is already a way to take advantage of Amazon’s catalog if you have an Apple TV. The iOS app supports AirPlay, letting you send the video to your TV directly from your iPhone or iPad.
But AirPlay isn’t as comfortable as having a native app. In particular, the Apple TV lets you search for a movie using Siri and see if this movie is available on iTunes, Netflix, Hulu, etc. Amazon wants to take advantage of this unified search experience.
Amazon isn’t against the idea of developing an Amazon TV app for non-Amazon devices. There is an Amazon Video app on Roku, Xbox and PlayStation devices. But the Apple TV also competes directly with Amazon’s own device, the Fire TV.
The most likely scenario is that the Amazon Video app wasn’t ready for the Apple TV launch. Amazon told Bostonweeks that the app should be ready “within a few weeks.”
Another scenario is that it was a good excuse to boost Fire TV sales before Black Friday and the holiday season. The Apple TV and Google Chromecast were removed from Amazon listings “in order to avoid customer confusion,” as you can use Amazon Video with these services.
So it’s unclear whether the Apple TV will be available on Amazon once the company releases its Amazon Video app. For instance, Amazon doesn’t sell the iPad directly, because it competes with its Fire tablets. But if you’re an Amazon Prime subscriber and have been waiting before getting a new Apple TV, this rumored Amazon Video makes the Apple TV more appealing.