Does Apple and Amazon’s new friendship bode ill for the Apple TV and HomePod?

Last week Apple and Amazon surprised folks by by announcing that Apple Music subscribers will be able to enjoy Apple Music’s 50 million songs on Echo devices this holiday season. That’s good news for Apple’s streaming music service and for Amazon, but what does it mean for the HomePod and Apple TV?

  Image courtesy of “The Ambient” (   the-ambient.com   )

Image courtesy of “The Ambient” (the-ambient.com)

Perhaps nothing bad, but Amazon and Apple are getting VERY cozy. In addition to the Apple Music announcement, the e-commerce giant  has signed a deal with Apple to expand the selection of the tech giant’s products on Amazon worldwide. 

Hmmmm.

In an article for Macworld, Jason Snell — whose analysis of all things Apple I’ve long admired — offers one scenario in which the HomePod and Apple TV could be positioned as the high-margin premium categories even as Apple Music runs on Echo devices and Apple’s TV app, iTunes rentals, upcoming video subscription service, etc. run on the Amazon Fire TV. 

Also, Apple could position its smart speaker and TV set-top box as the best options for those of us already entrenched in its ecosystem. In other words, the tech giant offer best-in-class products even while opening up its Services options to other (lower-priced) hardware.

Of course, it’s always possible that Apple could just abandon the HomePod and Apple TV and instead tell folks to go with the hardware its new best bud, Amazon, makes.

I don’t think this will happen. Then again, I didn’t think Apple would get out of the wireless router business and the computer display business (though a new display is reportedly coming in 2019 along with a modular Mac Pro).