Retail Rivals Amazon and Best Buy Team Up to Sell Smart TVs

Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.                  Amazon Best Buy

Amazon and Best Buy, rivals in the retail industry, will team up to sell smart televisions powered by the Fire TV operating system, the companies announced Wednesday. The partnership will kick off with the launch of more than 10 4K and HD Fire TV Edition televisions from Toshiba and Insignia, the companies said in a joint statement.

"Amazon and Best Buy have a long history of working together", said Bezos, referring to Best Buy sales of Kindle readers.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos boasted that the new TVs will "deliver handsome visuals and all the movies and TV shows you love, with an experience that gets better every day with Alexa".

Of course, if you want to take things a step further and go entirely hands-free, you can also connect these TVs to any Echo device and use voice commands that way.

In the coming years Best Buy executives said they will introduce other brands and models in various price points that will be integrated with Fire TV.

The Amazon Fire TV Edition is exactly what it sounds like.

Customers in the United States will have the ability to purchase the first Fire TV Edition smart TV from Toshiba beginning this summer, with additional models to be released in 2018. In addition, the TVs will be sold via the Amazon Marketplace with Best Buy as the third-party seller. Best Buy will also become the exclusive merchant for the TVs on Amazon's website. As Amazon rose in the electronics segment, Best Buy seemed doomed to cede share. The TVs expand on what you can do with a Fire TV stick, letting you see live TV alongside streaming options, detect devices connected to your TV, and consult a channel guide, to name a few features. In fact, where Amazon and the internet in general have driven some brick or mortar stores out of business, Best Buy remains and - as of the end of its last fiscal year - is actually on something of an upswing. Retail availability will extend to Canada "later this year".

Even though Amazon recently acquired Whole Foods, the ecommerce giant is not going to use its own physical stores to promote Fire TV Edition smart TVs.

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