In a move to expand the market for its Fire TV Stick, Amazon announced today that a new Basic Edition of the stick will now be available in more than 100 new markets around the world. The move comes almost a year after the retailer expanded its Prime video service to over 200 countries globally.
No Alexa support for new Amazon Fire TV Stick
So far, viewers in several countries were only able to watch Prime Video on mobile phones and tablets, smart TVs, or via the Prime Video website. Now, they can watch Prime Video on the big screen with the Amazon Fire TV Stick. Along with Prime Video, the device also streams content including movies and TV shows from Hulu, YouTube and Netflix. It also allows users access to several music and gaming apps.
“Last year, we made Amazon Prime Video available to customers globally, and today, we’re building on that momentum as we introduce Fire TV Stick Basic Edition to new customers around the world,” said Amazon Fire TV Vice President, Marc Whitten, in a press release. “This makes streaming content from apps like Prime Video fast and easy and we can’t wait to hear what customers think.”
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Amazon recently started shipping the 3rd generation Fire TV. However, the new Basic Edition is based on the 2nd Generation Fire TV Stick, but without Alexa. Since Alexa is absent, the remote also does not have the voice command button. The voice support is absent mainly because Alexa is still not available in many parts of the world. However, Amazon recently started to ship Echo to India and Japan, and will ship to other markets soon.
The Amazon Fire TV Stick Basic Edition is powered by the quad-core Mediatek 8127D at 1.3 GHz, and comes with 1GB RAM and 8GB storage. It supports Bluetooth 4.1 and 802.11 ac Wi-Fi, and can decode H.265 video, according to Android Police. The stick reportedly runs on Fire OS 5, which is based on the three-year-old Android Lollipop. The stick offers support for the High-Efficiency Video Codec (HEVC) for great 1080p HD streaming, and Dolby Audio for cinematic surround sound.
Costs $10 more
The Amazon Fire TV Stick Basic Edition is now available for purchase at $50, and will ship starting tomorrow. It must be noted that it costs $10 more than the standard full-featured Fire TV Stick. However, the fact that the U.S. firm will ship the device free to any of the included countries, compensates for the price bump. Users can set the default language to Spanish, French, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, German or English.
The stick can be ordered from Amazon.com, or from Amazon’s localized websites such as France (Amazon.fr), Canada (Amazon.ca), Italy (Amazon.it) and Spain (Amazon.es). To check if the Fire TV Stick is available in your country visit: www.amazon.com/firetvstickbasicedition.
It could be seen as a smart move by Amazon as the Fire TV Stick could help in boosting the adoption of Prime Video. However, for those who still do not have access to the Prime content, the new offering may not be an attractive purchase.