Amazon doesn’t innovate by crafting new product categories, like
Apple does. It also doesn’t make much money selling its hardware.
Instead, it takes all the data it gathers as the world’s biggest
online retailer, breaks down exactly what’s available and what
consumers want, then produces a piece of hardware that it can sell
cheaply in order to bring consumers into its ecosystem. Just as
Netflix created House of Cards to satisfy the particular tastes of
its viewers, Amazon made the Fire TV because millions of buyers
are already looking for it. To understand the Fire TV is to take
one glance at Amazon’s best-selling electronics list: two Roku
models, Google’s Chromecast, and the Apple TV are the only
non-Amazon devices in the top 10. The world’s largest online
retailer just took on all three.