Amazon back into smart TVs with help from retail rival Best Buy

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly announce new Fire TV Edition smart TVs in Bellevue, Washington. (Business Wire)

More than a year after announcing Fire TV OS in smart TVs by Westinghouse, Element and Seiki, Amazon has new smart TV partners through a team-up with its retail rival Best Buy.

The two companies are pairing up this summer to start selling 10 different 4K and HD Fire TV Edition models from Insignia and Toshiba in Best Buy stores across the U.S. and Canada.

The TVs will come with Fire TV built in and offer integrated live over-the-air TV and streaming content into one location. Fire TV Edition smart TVs include a Voice remote with Alexa voice control that can launch apps, search for TV shows, play music, switch inputs and control smart home devices. They can also be paired with any Echo device.

“Amazon and Best Buy have a long history of working together, and today we take our partnership to a new level,” said Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in a statement. “These Fire Edition smart TVs by Insignia and Toshiba deliver beautiful visuals and all the movies and TV shows you love, with an experience that gets better every day with Alexa. We could not have a better partner in this endeavor.”

“Our goal is to enrich the lives of our customers by offering them the very best products and services, whether they come to us online, visit our stores, or invite us into their home,” said Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly in a statement. “Our partnership with Amazon is exciting because we believe Fire TV Edition delivers an incredible user experience and further strengthens the growing connection between home theater, home automation and voice control.”

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The newly announced partnership between Amazon and Best Buy for smart TVs shows up months after CES in Las Vegas, where The Verge pointed out Amazon did not follow up with more smart TV OEM partners for its Fire TV OS.

The Amazon-Best Buy smart TV team-up also arrives after years of the two retailers directly competing with one another. Best Buy has apparently been able to withstand the Amazon’s e-commerce juggernaut better than other brick and mortar retailers. In March, Best Buy said it had its best holiday shopping season since 2003, with revenue rising more than 9% year-over-year.