Amazon Launches Low-Cost Fire TV for Non-Alexa Markets

Posted on November 7, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Music + Videos with 12 Comments

Amazon Launches Low-Cost Fire TV for Non-Alexa Markets

Today, Amazon launched an inexpensive new member of its Fire TV family of products aimed at the many markets in which Alexa is not available. It’s called the Fire TV Stick Basic Edition, and it costs about $50. It’s also available in over 100 new markets.

“Last year, we made Amazon Prime Video available to customers globally, and today, we’re building on that momentum as we introduce Fire TV Stick Basic Edition to new customers around the world,” Amazon’s Marc Whitten says in a prepared statement. “This makes streaming content from apps like Prime Video fast and easy and we can’t wait to hear what customers think.”

The Fire TV Stick Basic Edition provides a quad-core processor, 1 GB of RAM, and 8 GB of storage, Amazon says, plus 802.11ac Wi-Fi and support for High Efficiency Video Codec (HEVC), 1080p HD streaming, and Dolby Audio.

What it doesn’t provide is support for Alexa, Amazon’s digital personal assistant. And that’s the point: Alexa is only available in a few markets, and Amazon is trying to push its products worldwide. So for now, it can offer Fire TV devices without Alexa in those (many) markets that are not yet supported by Alexa.

To be clear, if you live in a market where Amazon does provide Alexa-based products, like the United States, you’re better off with a Fire TV that does support Alexa. Those versions are more powerful and, curiously, also less expensive. Here, the Fire TV Stick Basic Edition costs $50, while the more-capable Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote costs just $40.


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Comments (15)

15 responses to “Amazon Launches Low-Cost Fire TV for Non-Alexa Markets”

  1. MikeGalos

    But who would buy one when you can get locked into the Apple ecosystem, get a remote that's unusable and spend 4x as much?

  2. GeekWithKids

    To be fair to Amazon, the Basic edition is only $50 Canadian, so that's about the same as the Alexa-based one.

    Of course if Amazon would just launch Alexa in Canada it would be better.

  3. maethorechannen

    It doesn't seem to be available in the UK, though it is available in France for € 60.

  4. delorean

    I wish they would just enable their Amazon Prime app on Xbox in all regions where there is prime. Then I wouldn't need a $50 device to watch prime on my TV.

  5. Rycott

    Some quality happening right on that page.

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  6. CompUser

    So if I wanted to buy one of these (which I don't really plan to do, this is just a hypothetical), but I really don't want Alexa (which I don't), I would have to pay more for the privilege of having a less powerful device and less service? Sounds about right in today's upside down world.

  7. PcGuy8088

    Oh thanks Amazon. None of my friends have PrimeTV here in Canada due to its restriction of some of the shows not being available here. I tried PrimeTV a year ago and watched one show and cancelled trial sub. Still have my Netflix sub after 4 years. Now I have the pleasure of paying more for less wrt Fire Stick Basic Edition. Thanks Amazon but I will pass on that offer like I did on PrimeTV.

  8. harmjr

    To me this is just the FireStick Version 1 from 2014. I bought mine when it first came out years ago for $20 oh those were the days... I still use it to this day no need for Alexa right now in my life.

  9. ruusterc

    okay this product is kind of uneeded the only reason i would by a fire stick is to get amazon alexa on my tv but this doesnt have alexa this is kind of like shipping a kindle with out the the abilty to read your kindle library i dont need another device to watch prime and netflix i have 5 of them that do that already what i want is. this device but with alexa amazon instead of waisting time shipping products like this instead bring alexa to canada an else were i wanna buy an echo and i cant

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