Amazon had a big sale on all Fire TV models except the recently released Fire TV Stick 4K Max last week. Among the deals was the Fire TV Stick 4K for $24.99, which, along with some Fire TV Smart TVs, is the only Fire TV still on sale this week. Since the Fire TV Stick 4K was discounted so heavily and was even cheaper than the 3rd-gen Fire TV Stick, which is normally $10 less expensive, this lead to several people saying that the Fire TV Stick 4K must be getting discontinued and that Amazon is discounting it to clear out existing stock. Here’s why that’s not the case.
The single biggest piece of evidence that the Fire TV Stick 4K is not being discontinued, despite the significant sales, is that Amazon just updated it to include the new Alexa Voice Remote last month. If Amazon just wanted to get rid of the current supply and discontinue the model, they’d never spin up the factory to make a new bundle that needs all-new boxes and a change in the manufacturing process that has gone unchanged since 2018. It just doesn’t make any sense.
Additionally, the Fire TV Stick 4K is still prominently featured in the main Fire TV lineup and in comparison tables on all other Fire TV model product pages. If the Fire TV Stick 4K Max was meant to completely replace the Fire TV Stick 4K, Amazon would have removed it from all the main Fire TV pages and comparisons the day the Fire TV Stick 4K Max was announced. This is what Amazon has done for all past Fire TV models that have been discontinued on the same day that a replacement model was announced, even though they almost always still offer the older model for sale for at least a little while.
So then, why is the Fire TV Stick 4K not being discontinued and why is it so heavily discounted all the time? The answer is simply that there is currently huge competition in the budget 4K streaming device market. The Fire TV Stick 4K Max can comfortably hold its spot as a great value at $54.99 since it has features that no other streaming device has at its price point, thanks to Wi-Fi 6 and superior performance. The same can’t be said about the Fire TV Stick 4K.
While some people care about cutting-edge specs, most people just want the cheapest device that gets the job done. If the Fire TV Stick 4K Max fully replaced the Fire TV Stick 4K, that would leave a significant gap between the $39.99 Fire TV Stick and $54.99 Fire TV Stick 4K Max for devices like the Roku Express 4K, Google Chromecast, and Walmart Onn 4K Streamer to fill and dominate as people overlooked the Fire TV Stick 4K Max for being too expensive. Amazon must have a model in that gap, and so, the Fire TV Stick 4K lives on as it’s still a very capable device.
While the Fire TV Stick 4K was a bargain at $49.99 when it was first introduced, that’s not the case anymore thanks to the $34.99 Roku Express 4K and the $29.88 Walmart Onn 4K recently being released. This is why the Fire TV Stick 4K is so heavily discounted nearly all the time. It’s odd that Amazon didn’t just lower the list price of the Fire TV Stick 4K, like they did for the 2nd-gen Fire TV when its list price was dropped from $99.99 to $89.99 to better compete with its competition. Instead, Amazon seems to have decided to just keep it on an almost indefinite sale, where $39.99 is the new true everyday price and $24.99 is the lowest it has ever been.
This technique of never-ending sales for Amazon devices isn’t unique to Fire TVs, as Amazon has done the same for Echo products. Back when Google was running a long promotion on its Google Home Mini smart speakers during the holidays, Amazon made sure to undercut it by keeping the Echo Dot on sale for as long as the Google Home Mini was on sale. That standoff lasted over a month before both devices returned to normal list prices in the new year.
In summary, the Fire TV Stick 4K is very likely sticking around until at least late 2022, if not longer. Its list price of $49.99 has become meaningless because you will hardly ever see it for more than $39.99 anymore. If a competing device is on sale for less than $40, especially from Roku, there’s probably going to be a good chance that the Fire TV Stick 4K will be discounted even lower, even if it means it costs less than the inferior Fire TV Stick. If you’re in the market for a budget 4K streaming device, and the Fire TV Stick 4K Max doesn’t seem worth it, don’t hesitate to pick up the Fire TV Stick 4K, especially when it’s on sale for $24.99. It’s still a great buy and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.