The Amazon Fire TV Stick has just launched in India, making it the 5th country where a Fire TV device is officially sold. The Fire TV Stick is priced at ₹3,999, which is about $62. Although it comes with a voice remote for basic voice searching, not surprisingly, Alexa is not available in India yet. It took Alexa over a year to make it to the UK and Germany after first appearing on US Fire TV devices. I wouldn’t expect Alexa to take that long to be made available on Fire TVs in India, but the voice assistant is not present at launch. Notably, the Fire TV set-top box is not being made available in India. I see this as a very good sign that a new 3rd-generation Fire TV, in addition to the “AFTN” device I discovered, is in the works.
If a new Fire TV 3 is planned to be released later this year, as I suspect, it wouldn’t make sense to launch the existing Fire TV 2 in India now and replace it in a few months. Some may interpret this as a sign that Amazon is giving up on the high-end set-top box market, but I absolutely don’t believe that to be the case.
In addition to the Fire TV Stick making its debut in India, the Amazon appstore itself has been launched, to a limited degree, in the country for the first time. A separate Amazon appstore that is specific to India did not exist before today. While mobile in India are still directed to use the US Amazon appstore, an India specific appstore has launched with just Fire TV apps.
The app selection on the Fire TV Stick in India is much more limited than in any other country because paid apps and apps with in-app purchasing are not yet supported in the Indian Amazon appstore. Although my Downloader app is 100% free, it does have in-app purchasing enabled to accept donations, so my Downloader app is not yet allowed in India. I’ll try to find out when apps with in-app purchasing will be allowed on Indian Fire TVs. If it seems like something that won’t be available for a while, I’ll release a version of my Downloader app in India with the donation buttons removed.