Amazon is at it again. According to an Insider report, the company is now preparing to launch its own Amazon-branded TVs, possibly as soon as October.
Citing unnamed sources familiar with the product, Insider claims that the TV will have Alexa built-in and be somewhere in the range of 55 to 75 inches. The TV will also supposedly be designed and manufactured by TCL. The report contends the TV launch has been kept secret internally within Amazon, but that the company has been chipping away at this project for nearly two years. It also reportedly involves teams from both Amazon Devices and Lab126, the research and development team behind the Kindle and Fire TV Stick. On top of this lineup of branded TVs, Amazon is also purportedly working on its own in-house design for a separate TV.
Beyond that, more detailed specs and pricing for these rumoured TVs remain a mystery. For example, it’s unclear whether these TVs will have Fire TV software, like other Fire TVs currently sold by other manufacturers. There’s good reason to think it will. Amazon updated Fire TV’s user interface late last year, and around the same time, it also launched two TVs under the AmazonBasics brand in India. Plus, Amazon’s forays into gadgets have historically been as a means to embed its services into people’s homes. Just take a look at the Alexa microwave, Echo Frames, the original Echo speakers, and the vast graveyard of experimental Amazon gadgets that never really took off. (Cough, Fire Phone, cough.)
As for price, Amazon’s primarily known for being affordable. The TVs it launched in India, for example, cost roughly $550 for the 50-inch model and $650 for the 55-inch model. The Insignia-branded Fire TVs sold at Best Buy are also dirt chip and feature prominently in Amazon Prime Day sales. (Do not buy those TVs on Prime Day.)
What remains to be seen is whether these rumoured TVs are meant to serve the budget market, or whether Amazon actually plans to compete with other TV manufacturers like Sony, LG, and Samsung — or whether it’ll promote its own TVs at the expense of others sold on its online marketplace.
While Insider claims the rollout could be as early as October, it also notes that the project has been stymied by “logistical bottlenecks.” That’s unsurprising given the global chip shortage, which has led to delays and supply issues for several gadget launches this year. In any case, we probably won’t’ have to wait too long to find out if this is happening at all. October’s just around the corner, and Black Friday’s not too far behind that — and you know Amazon loves to rake in millions during sales holidays.