As Indians are increasingly consuming more of online TV content, it is hard for biggies the likes of Netflix and Amazon to not cash in on the opportunity. With over 460 million internet users, India is considered the second largest online market and what better way to make the most of it by introducing customized products and services. After announcing its Prime Video online media streaming service, Amazon is now set to launch its Fire TV in the country.
Amazon has sent out media invites for the event which is scheduled to be held on April 19. Although the invite does not spell out which product, but given the strong infographic on television viewing experience, it falls in line with long-running rumors about the company launching its new hardware in India.
Amazon Fire TV is a TV streaming stick which was first launched back in 2014. The newest model gets built-in support for the voice-controlled digital assistant Alexa. In the media streaming market, the Fire TV competes against the Google Chromecast, Apple TV, Roku, and other streaming devices. ALSO READ: Airtel Internet TV launched in India, subscriptions start from Rs 4,999
It is unclear if Amazon will bring its Alexa-powered 2017 Fire TV model to India. Given that the country’s potential to embrace artificial intelligence and connected devices, one could expect the company bringing in the newest model as it would benefit the recently-launched Prime Video paid subscription service.
To help understand, the Amazon Fire TV stick is a plug-and-play device. All that a user needs to do is plug the USB stick into the television and stream television channels, apps, shows, etc on their set. The newest model is powered by a quad-core processor paired with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of non-expandable internal storage. Other features include Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth v4.1, HEVC support, up to 1080p output, support for the optional game controller, and Dolby 5.1 output.
Although there is no official word, but speculations indicate that the Fire TV could be priced at Rs 1,999. In comparison, the price of the Google Chromecast starts at Rs 3,399, while the Apple TV is priced at Rs 13,500 for the 32GB model. ALSO READ: Amazon Prime Video goes live in India, costs just Rs 499 for a year
With the launch of the Fire TV stick, Amazon could be in a better position to battle it out in the streaming and online content business in India where players such as Netflix, Hotstar, and the recent entrant Reliance JioTV are aiming to lure consumers with original and customized shows, and affordable plans.
Recently, Airtel introduced its internet TV in India. Unlike a streaming device, the Airtel Internet TV is more like a standard set-top-box but based on Android. The device essentially leverages the growing penetration of broadband in the country and allows one to convert a standard TV into a smart TV and comes pre-loaded with apps such as Netflix and YouTube. Subscription rates for Airtel’s Internet TV start from Rs 4,999. ALSO READ: India loves binge watching the most, and Netflix is taking note