Why the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick have been backordered for so long

If you’re an average Amazon Fire TV or Fire TV Stick owner, chances are you’re unaware that both devices are currently backordered into next month. More so for the Fire TV Stick, but this has been the state of Fire TV supply for most of this year. Having the line of streaming devices go out of stock after a big sale, like Prime Day or Black Friday, is expected, but there must be other reasons for the current outage. Amazon, like any other company, will just tell you supply can’t meet demand, so here’s my speculation on why the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick are so hard to buy these days.

Of the two devices, the Fire TV Stick has generally been much hard to get ahold of than the Fire TV set-top box. The first plausible reason for this is the recent launch of the 2nd-gen Fire TV Stick in three new countries. The new Stick launched in the UK on April 6th, launched in India yesterday, and launched in Germany today. This has certainly put a strain on supply and redirected most of the supply to these three countries.

Something to keep in mind with a product launch is that Amazon doesn’t just have to make enough to cover pre-orders. They also have to make and ship a huge number of devices to all the various retail stores that stock the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick on their shelves. These devices aren’t sold yet, but they might as well be because they aren’t available to fulfill orders from customers ordering through Amazon. Once all the various stores receive their initial supply, the stress on Amazon’s factories is relieved as things return to a normal resupply trickle as devices get sold from the shelves of these stores.

While a device’s launch in a new country affects that one device the most, the demand can, and has likely, affected other Amazon devices. The Fire TV box has been mostly in stock this year, but in the last few weeks it has also become backordered, likely due to Amazon’s factories focusing on making Fire TV Sticks. I’ve also seen Fire tablets and Echo models briefly go out of stock for no apparent reason, possibly due to the Fire TV Stick’s production priority.

Another possible contributor to the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick’s short supply is production issues for the Alexa voice remote. This is complete speculation on my part, and I wrote about this theory earlier this year, but I still believe the production bottleneck might be the remote. The voice remote has been in extreme short supply for much longer than either the Fire TV or Fire TV Stick. It will be backordered for months, come back into stock for a day and then immediately be backordered for a couple more months. This cycle has repeated several times over the last year and it just happened again this week.

The current Fire TV voice remote model deputed in 2015 with the 2nd-gen Fire TV, so as its 2 year anniversary approaches, it could now be difficult to source parts for this design. The new remote that will ship with the upcoming Fire TV Edition televisions might look a lot like the existing voice remote, but the circuitry is completely different since it uses Bluetooth to communicate, instead of a WiFi-direct like the existing remote. The shift back to a Bluetooth remote, like the 1st-gen devices had, could indicate a reason for Amazon to want to abandon the existing remote model.

The final contributing reason for the prolonged backorder is the reseller market. There are still numerous resellers who buy Fire TVs and Fire TV Sticks, load them with piracy software, and resell them on eBay for a profit. With supply so restricted, these resellers are snatching up every unit they can get ahold of. Employees of electronic stores like Best Buy and Staples have told me they have people waiting for the store to open every single morning to buy any and all Fire TV Sticks that arrived overnight. If there’s that kind of demand at physical stores, it’s safe to assume resellers across the country have placed a maximum number of backorders on Amazon site, which keeps the device out of stock.

Amazon’s website currently says the Fire TV will be back in stock on May 5th and the Fire TV Stick will be back in stock on May 13. I would assume that both devices will be regularly in stock in about a month, since the international launches will have passed, which should lift the primary strain on supply.

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28 comments
  1. clocks says:

    I’ve read that eBay is supposed to start cracking down on the pirate FTV sticks.

    • jim says:

      Lol wtf would they do. Say you cannot buy our product and then do with it what you please?

      • Sugar Kane says:

        He said eBay, not Amazon. eBay would just take down listings that they think are inappropriate and/or ban sellers. We’re talking about sticks with all the piracy stuff preloaded, not just regular sticks.

        • chihuahua says:

          Amazon have started doing the same but this only applies to devices that come with kodi addons ready installed.

  2. Sending all the new ones to India?

  3. Jason says:

    Ordered my fire tv stick on the 2nd of April. It was expected to arrive to the 25th but it arrived this Monday on the 17th.

  4. Richard says:

    As someone who has purchased 11 fire sticks and fire tvs for my household (including 4-5 first gen devices I replaced with second gen units), yesterday I had amazon for the second time deactivate every device in my house, apparently because they must think I’m a reseller.

    Honestly it’s annoying enought having to reactivate each device, but the most annoying problem is it doesn’t remember the layout of my apps. So I have to spend ten minutes per device laboriously moving each app back.

    If I had one wish for fire tv, it would be to have it remember apps, locations, and logins across all your registered devices.

    • clocks says:

      2/3 FTVs were deactivated yesterday, and I have not ordered any new ones since probably last year. So Amazon may just be doing that lately.

    • AFTVnews says:

      I got hit with a batch deregistration yesterday as well. Probably the 4th time it has happened to me. If you can keep your registered count at 9 or less, it seems to not happen. Regardless, you should contact Amazon and tell them you’re annoyed. If they’re in fact simply going by number of registered devices, and no other metric, to determine reseller accounts, they need to update their process.

      • Richard says:

        Yeah last time I went ahead and fully unregistered my old devices, but it still left me with 7 active devices; so I think the count might be 6 or less!

        But yeah I wish they had a better system because I’ve spent many hundreds of dollars on their devices, and many hundreds more on prime memberships, yet every three month apparently I look like a criminal or something to them.

      • clocks says:

        While I have bought several(10-12?) FTVs since their release, for the past year or so I have only had 3 registered. So I wonder if it is based on how many you have purchased, rather than how many you have registered.

        • Richard says:

          That definitely could be, but dang, you’d think that going through the trouble to fully re-registering them would help them really “yeah, this guy over here? he’s good… let’s stop messing with him…”

          • Neogeo71 says:

            Same here, I have 5 in use but own 12. I always buy a few on sale or black Friday for gifts at xmas, I have like 5 first gem sticks and 2 2nd gem sticks in a drawer.

        • derrick says:

          i have a cable log in and i kept getting signed out of cable network apps but never netflix, twitch, youtube. I found out that when they get a bunch of sign ons they start signing people out as a security thing. Which is why i kept getting signed out from only the tv apps. I think it’s a common comcast thing. Maybe amazon is doing a similar thing when it sees a bunch of log ins.

          • Richard says:

            Yeah that happens to me CONSTANTLY and it’s annoying as hell. I mean when I start typing “CN” and it immediately autocompletes to “cnn.it/firetv” you know that you are having to log in a lot!

    • Joe Applewood says:

      #firstworldproblems

    • Glenn says:

      They did the same thing to Me!!!
      You are Not Alone!!!!!
      They had No problem letting me register 13 to my account that I set up for my kids and grandkids…. now I have to re register them ALL!!!!

  5. Ryan says:

    I blame the remote. Mine died on me the other day after just a year of use. They really need to sort this out because I know I am not the only one this has happened to.

  6. Steve says:

    If you have a full Amazon account registered including your bank details your sticks won’t de register

    • Richard says:

      “If you have a full Amazon account registered including your bank details your sticks won’t de register”

      I’m not sure how you might know this but I have a “full amazon account registered” for 19 years, and have been a prime member for 6 years with an associated credit card.

      Unless you know something I don’t, I don’t think you are correct.

  7. William Olsen says:

    Its kodi and world wide kodi use and need of a suitable device to run it. Amazon has started to pull fully loaded kodi boxes from their site to try to stop piracy. At fist after the annoucement of the newest fire stick with voice remote there was a shortage of remotes but it was quickly remedied. As for accounts being logged out, it dont matter if you have a paid account or not. It is a random thing that amazon servers do to prevent people that mod kodi installs for piracy and have a bunch of fire devices registered to their account, and even devices done with dummy accounts and sold on craigslist. Ive done them both ways and it dont matter. Keep up net neutrality and freedom of information of media. Today its frowned upon but back in the day you coypd go to block buster, rent a vhs movie, take it home and copy it on your vcr or what ever was on tv and let your friend borrow it all at thw cost of a couple bucks. Now that the same thing is done on a larger scale the its a bad thing. Mass profit off a free utility is a bad thing but being smart enough to help people get media for free and making money of their inability to do it for their self is just smart.

  8. Neogeo71 says:

    Best buy needs to limit sales to repeat customers! If your buying that many sticks, you are a reseller plain and simple. This is not gonna end well for kodi. I guarantee it.

    • TROJAN4EVR says:

      Do you have any idea what KODI is and how long its been around or what SPMC is? KODI IS LEGAL software. Why do you guarantee its not going to end well for kodi? Do you know something we don’t? Do you have any idea on how many other hardware platforms kodi can be installed on? Should best buy stop sales of all devices that kodi can be i stalled on? Like laptops, tablets, phones, desktops, and TVs??? Get real and find out what KODI is before you open your mouth about guaranteeing anything…

  9. James says:

    these can easily be had on amazon prime now… got one delivered to me in two hoursjames

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