Xiaomi today announced its first range of Amazon Fire TV smart TVs, with three options hitting the market. It’s now Google’s second Android TV partner to adopt the Fire TV platform in less than a month.
Xiaomi launched the first Fire TV models
Xiaomi today announced its new Fire TV lineup, the ‘F2’ series, available exclusively in the UK.
This new range of TVs at the end of the spectrum is affordable, with options in 43, 50 and 55 inches. All three support 4K, HDR10, and even HDMI 2.1. You’ll find a “frameless” design here with four HDMI ports on even the smallest model and a 60Hz refresh rate across the board. These definitely won’t blow anyone away, but they get the job done.
The big story is that these are the first Xiaomi TVs with Amazon Fire TV on board. The brand has traditionally sold Android TV models globally, including in the UK, and this is the first step in another operating system. Amazon Fire TV is still Android based, though, with a completely different user interface and reliance on Amazon’s Appstore and services rather than Google.
Xiaomi’s Fire TV lineup starts at £339.
Traditionally, Android TV partners were not allowed to use Fire TV
This change is notable, as Google has, in the past, been said to have banned Android TV partners from using Amazon Fire TV. This was not so much a targeted action as a result of Google’s Android contract with partners. In order for an Android partner to have access to the Google Play Store and other Google services, they have to adopt an agreement that prevents, among other things, that company from using a “forked” version of Android – a largely modified version that lacks Google services and cannot be recognized It greatly.
Earlier this month, Hisense was our first hint that Google had, in some way, loosened its grip on Android TV OS partners and allowed them to produce Fire TV models alongside Android TV OS and Roku. It’s certainly no coincidence that Xiaomi released its first batch of Fire TV models just weeks after Hisense, and it’s only working to confirm our suspicions.
While Hisense has started this path, Xiaomi joining the club is particularly bad news for Google. The Android TV platform has a strong foothold in international markets, especially Asia, and Xiaomi is one of the biggest brands in those regions. The company’s Fire TV range is only in the UK for now, but there’s no reason not to expect the same expansion into Asia. When that time comes, it will certainly have a chance of hurting Google in the long run – and at very bad timing.
Xiaomi has yet to officially adopt Google TV over Android TV, and while we expect this partnership to continue, this certainly raises some questions.
More on Google TV:
FTC: We use affiliate links to earn income. more.
Check out 9to5Google on YouTube for more news: