Amazon and Best Buy were once mortal enemies. Now they're strange bedfellows, at least when it comes to TVs.
The retailers announced today (April 18) that they're joining forces to sell televisions across the U.S. and Canada. 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. For the first time ever, Best Buy will be a third-party seller on Amazon, starting with this new line of televisions.
The new Fire TV Edition televisions are 4K sets that have Amazon's Fire platform built in. The feature means users can effectively get all of the services and apps they access on a Fire TV — such as Netflix, HBO, and Amazon Video — without having to add a set-top box. Instead, that software gets bundled with the television.
Amazon and Best Buy were also quick to note that the televisions will let you watch live, over-the-air television by connecting any HD antenna to the sets. The televisions also support Amazon's virtual personal assistant Alexa, so you can shout out commands and control your smart home from the comfort of your couch.
Amazon's decision to partner with Best Buy is an interesting one. The companies compete for electronics shoppers every day and pricing is often similar on everything from televisions to set-top boxes. Best Buy has been forced to invest heavily in its online presence to compete with Amazon, which has generally done a fine job of stealing sales from the big-box retailer.
By selling the new televisions through Best Buy, Amazon is expanding its Alexa footprint. The company is also acknowledging that for many shoppers looking to buy a television, seeing a set's picture quality for themselves inside a store before buying is critically important.
Amazon will sell the televisions exclusively in Best Buy stores and online at BestBuy.com. For its part, Best Buy will offer the sets as a third-party seller on Amazon.com. The companies plan to start selling the sets this summer, starting with the Toshiba models, for a yet-to-be announced price. More televisions will be offered as time goes on.