Amazon Fire TV Stick Basic in Australia: What gives?

Angus Kidman 8 November 2017 NEWS

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Amazon's new TV streaming stick is hitting 100 countries.

As rumours continue to swirl that Amazon Australia will officially launch in time for Black Friday, there are some interesting clues to be found in Amazon's launch strategy for its latest product: the Amazon Fire TV Stick Basic Edition.

The Fire TV Stick is a media streaming dongle that plugs into your TV's HDMI port (think Chromecast or Apple TV). The original Fire Stick TV was launched in 2014 as a US-only product, while the second-generation model also released in a handful of European countries.

For the new "basic" model, Amazon is proclaiming that it will be available in more than 100 countries around the world. But is Australia one of them?

According to Amazon, it is launching the Fire Stick to provide a simpler way for consumers in those countries to access Amazon Prime Video, home of The Grand Tour, Transparent and not a whole lot else, frankly. Australia was one of the many countries which added Amazon Prime Video back in December 2016, so you would expect Australia to be on the list.

But it's not that simple. Amazon's main Fire TV Stick Basic page proudly proclaims "this item ships to Sydney, Australia" when I view it. But if I select Australia in the drop-down list of supplied countries, I get told: "Sorry, this product cannot be shipped to Australia". And that's true: you can't add it to your cart and ship to an Australian address.

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So what gives? One possible explanation is that Amazon does intend to sell the Fire TV Basic in Australia eventually, but doesn't want to do so until it can sell through the actual .com.au site, whenever that happens. If you pick France on the country selection list, for instance, you're told: "Some products ship to France when purchased on Amazon.fr". We might see that message on the Fire TV Basic page shortly for Australia.

Alternatively, Amazon might be so focused on its main Australian launch plan that the Fire TV Basic is just a distraction. I'll update if we learn more.

Angus Kidman's Findings column looks at new developments and research that help you save money, make wise decisions and enjoy your life more. It appears regularly on finder.com.au.

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