NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Amazon (AMZN) unveiled Fire TV Wednesday, with the promise that the thin set-top box would revolutionize entertainment in the same way the Kindle changed reading habits. But investor excitement for the device, speculated about for weeks, was quickly extinguished.
$AMZN Fire TV announcement = market shrug.-- Anne (@abubnic) Apr. 2 at 01:13 PM
Amazon's stock climbed just a quarter of a percent by 2 p.m., nearly two hours after the company concluded its news conference. Some cashtaggers said the lack of enthusiasm was a bearish sign for the stock, which trades at $343.86 and is down nearly 14% since the start of 2014.
$AMZN On a day this should have rocketed this goes no where... Hello 330.-- Roses_Wilted (@Roses_Wilted) Apr. 2 at 12:58 PM
Fire TV reminds many of Apple's (AAPL) set top box. Like Apple TV, the device costs $99. It is available for order now on Amazon.com. Also like Apple TV, it displays photos on the television screen and streams Netflix (NFLX) and other subscription content in HD -- provided that users have a subscription.
Apple TV, of course, never really took off, despite rave reviews from owners. That's one reason why Amazon investors might be withholding oxygen from Fire TV.
Amazon insists its device is better than competing offerings. It has three times the processing power and four times the memory of Apple TV, Google (GOOG) Chromecast or Roku 3, according to Amazon's press release. Amazon promises that the extra power and memory will allow its content to start ASAP. Waiting for content to load has been a pain point for Netflix subscribers, although one that should be alleviated somewhat by Netflix's recent deal to pay Comcast (CMCSA) for a direct connection to the cable giant's broadband network.
At first blush, it doesn't appear that Amazon's set-top box is really battling Netflix, since it will play Netflix content for subscribers. Netflix shares fell a little less than 1% after the announcement -- far less than many investors had expected.