The Apple TV (s aapl) doesn’t seem to be getting its due on Amazon’s (s amzn) “Bestsellers in Electronics” list. While the device is clearly selling well, it hasn’t appeared among the top 100 sellers on Amazon’s list. Is the online store joining the battle to upset Cupertino’s TV efforts?
As the holidays approach, many customers turn to websites like Amazon for guidance on what to buy for that special someone who wants a gadget fix. But, as Business Insider points out, it looks like the Apple TV isn’t being featured by the online shopping giant, despite steady demand since its release. As the Insider notes, the Apple TV might in fact “actually be ranked somewhere in the top 20.” Efforts to contact Amazon for comment have so far not produced a response.
So, where’s the proof? Well, stop and take a look at what’s currently listed in just beyond the top 20 (as of this writing): Roku’s XD Streaming Player. Now, skip over to Amazon’s Bestsellers in Digital Media Devices list, a more focused category. Notice anything odd? The same Roku XDS Streaming Player is listed under both the Apple TV and the Boxee Box. Interesting that the number three device has broken the top 20 in the Bestsellers in Electronics list, while the two leaders in the smaller category aren’t even mentioned there.
Apple, at least for now, isn’t banned from Amazon’s Bestseller in Electronics list entirely, due to the presence of various iPhone and iPod models. Also, Boxee’s absence on the list indicates that they’re not the only company getting the rankings shaft right now. Finally, consider that many of the Kindle models (Amazon’s only electronic device) are sitting pretty in the list’s top 10.
When contacted for comment, a Boxee representative said they weren’t sure what was going on, but that D-Link was the partner that dealt primarily with Amazon. D-Link did not provide a comment in time for publication.
It’s difficult in these situations to decipher whether a company is advancing its own interests, subtly blocking another, or if there’s something less nefarious at play. But you have to wonder if Amazon isn’t altering rankings based on the Roku XD’s support for Amazon Video-On-Demand, which isn’t present in either the Apple TV or Boxee Box. Whereas Amazon.com has, in the past, functioned as more of a retailer than a strategist, perhaps this is an example of what happens when its interests as as service provider run up against its role as a distributor of third-party goods.
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