Amazon this week cut the price of its Fire TV streaming media player by $15. The device now costs just $84 and will remain at that price for a limited time.
The Fire TV is Amazon's entry into the streaming video market. It is the online retailer's effort to be the gateway into living rooms for video and music streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Instant Streaming.
Normally, price cuts on Amazon devices signal the impending announcement of next-generation versions of those devices. The Fire TV, however, was only just released back in April. The device is so new that some big streaming apps such as Spotify have only recently begun to show up on Amazon's streaming box.
Amazon earlier this month did announce several new upgrades for their hardware offerings. The announcement included new versions of the Kindle Fire HDX, Kindle Fire HD, and the Kindle. Amazon also debuted the Kindle Voyage (the new high-end for Amazon e-readers) and the Kindle Fire HD Kids Edition. The Fire TV was not included in the announcement, though that doesn't necessarily mean a new version of the streaming box isn't coming soon.
Another possible reason for the price cut could be that the Fire TV is not meeting Amazon's sales expectations. Unlike the Amazon Kindle, which pioneered the seven-inch tablet segment, the Fire TV was released into an already-crowded market. Products such as the Roku and the Apple TV are still the leaders of the streaming box product segment, and it will take more than some weird Gary Busey commercials to displace them.
Even if the Fire TV is underperforming, it doesn't look as if Amazon will be giving up on it. The company just this week announced that it will be investing an additional $55 million in its hardware initiatives. Amazon is expected to expand its hardware staff by 27 percent over the next five years. The company is also reportedly testing Wi-Fi-enabled home devices meant, of course, to make buying products over Amazon even easier.