Yesterday morning, all of my Fire TVs and Fire TV Sticks, except for my one new Fire TV Stick 2, were spontaneously deregistered and removed from my Amazon account. Since then, I’ve been contact by several others who experienced the same thing with their devices. It’s unclear why this is happening, but based on those who have experienced this, my guess is it’s related to having an unusually high number of devices associated with a single Amazon account.
I personally have 12 Fire TVs and Fire TV Sticks registered with my Amazon account. They’re not all actively used, but I keep them around for testing purposes because I like to have devices in various states, whether it be rooted vs. unrooted or latest OS version vs. older OS. The 11 oldest devices were deregistered all at once. None of the installed apps or their data were removed. They were just dissociated with my Amazon account, so they needed to be sign into again.
A Fire TV owner with 14 devices registered to his Amazon account, which were distributed among various family members, also reported all of his devices becoming deregistered. A Fire TV reseller, who had 3 “dummy” Amazon accounts with 8-10 devices each, told me all of his devices became deregistered, but more so, his 3 Amazon accounts were closed.
Since everyone I’ve heard from with this problem has had an unusualy high number of devices registered to their account, and at least one person had their Amazon accounts closed, I suspect the spontaneous deregistering is a deliberate attempt by Amazon to thwart resellers of Fire TVs and Fire TV Sticks. Fire TV resellers, who load these devices with apps capable of streaming pirated content and resell them for a profit, leave the devices registered with a dummy Amazon account so their buyers can start using them immediately.
The Fire TV has developed a reputation for being a good piracy device, thanks to its inexpensive price and relative ease of running Android piracy apps. Amazon has been trying to avoid this reputation and it seems like this latest wave of deregistering devices is another step in that effort.
I was able to get all of my devices re-registered with my Amazon account all at once by contacting Amazon’s customer support. I’ve reached out to Amazon’s PR department about this and was told they’d look into it and get back to me. I’ll be sure to update this article if I hear back from them.
4/27/17 See a followup to this article here.