Clash of the Titans: Apple vs. Amazon

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By Vlad Vidaeff

Ali vs. Frazier.  McDonald’s vs. Burger King.  Wal-Mart vs. Target.  Coca-Cola vs. Pepsi.  Apple vs. Amazon?  It’s safe to say that you’re probably not human if you’ve never purchased anything from Apple or Amazon in your life.  The retail giants have become so large that they now compete in some of the same circles.  One of those circles is streaming media.  Competition breeds competition and neither heavyweight wants to lay down.  This blog will discuss Amazon Prime’s omission from Apple TV.

The new Apple TV was launched in the United States in October of 2015.   For those of you unfamiliar with Apple TV, it is a streaming media platform that connects to your television.  Apple TV provides an immersive experience with a multitude of options at your disposal: (1) video streaming such as Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Now; (2) a large selection of video games including Manticore Rising, Rayman Adventures, Shadowmatic, Asphalt 8: Airborne, and Guitar Hero; (3) a variety of apps such as Airbnb and Zova (a fitness app); (4) your photo library; and (5) your music library.  If you have an iPhone you are familiar with the iOS system.  Similarly, the new Apple TV has an operating system known as tvOS.  tvOS includes a powerful 64-bit A8 chip which provides you with the processing power and speed to play your video games on your television.  Intertwined with tvOS is a technology known as Metal which allows app developers to design highly immersive apps.

With video streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu being offered on Apple TV, the omission of Amazon Prime is a glaring one.  While the major players at each company are the only ones who know what is truly going on behind the scenes, one possible justification for the decision is due to Fire TV and Fire TV Stick.  Both of the aforementioned devices are offered by Amazon and directly compete with Apple TV.  Apple TV proposed to charge Amazon 30% of revenue from the app to be featured on the device and naturally Amazon did not want to pay.  While both companies are jockeying for position and want to one up each other, a resolution to the matter is in the best interest of both parties.

Apple TV is popular and Amazon would benefit from offering their service on the device.  This is especially true as there is a behind the back way to stream Amazon Prime on Apple TV.  If you have the Amazon Prime app on your iPhone, you can then connect your iPhone to your Apple TV via AirPlay and stream Prime.  And it now seems that a resolution to the matter is in fact eminent.  Dan Bostonweeks tweeted Amazon asking when Amazon Prime would be available on Apple TV and received the following reply from the company:

“Hopefully within a few weeks span, you will be able to see the Amazon Instant Video app feature on your Apple TV.”

Straight from the lion’s mouth we now know that Apple and Amazon have finally worked out their differences.  While the official date on which the tide will turn is unknown, we know that it might happen any day now.  Apple and Amazon fanatics rejoice, the time is near!


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