Amazon and Best Buy team up to sell smart TVs

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos with Best Buy

Above Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos with Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly

The devices will be sold exclusively through Best Buy and Amazon.com and via the retailer's chain of brick-and-mortar stores.

Best Buy said it plans only to sell the Fire TV models on Amazon's site, and no other products. The Fire Edition TVs by Insignia and Toshiba are created to work seamlessly with Amazon's own voice assistant Alexa. This partnership provides Best Buy with access to Amazon's online customers for the first time, while broadening Amazon's potential audience for products that feature its Alexa voice assistant.

The new Fire TV Edition televisions are 4K sets that have Amazon's Fire platform built in.

Amazon actually launched its first TV with Fire TV OS built in previous year via a partnership with Element, but this latest partnership with Best Buy cranks things up a notch by placing the TV sets front and center in one of the biggest retail stores in North America. You'll start seeing the new TVs in stores this summer.

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Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly said the new Fire TVs will provide customers with a "incredible user experience". HDMI ports are available on the TVs to allow users to connect gaming consoles.

The partnership will kick off with the launch of more than 10 4K and HD Fire TV Edition televisions from Toshiba and Insignia, the companies said in a joint statement. It will also be the exclusive seller of those sets on Amazon.

But this new tie-up between the companies illustrates Best Buy's pragmatic and so far successful approach to its rival, which consists of focusing its efforts on initiatives that bring people to physical stores, whether it be store-in-store for emerging brands and sectors like smart home products, providing expertise to customers on things like installations, and showcasing products by companies like Google. Sure, it could work for a while, but at some point it really feels like this could back fire on Joly and give Amazon-which stole the number-one spot in our consumer electronics retail rankings this year from Best Buy-an even bigger edge in its mission to continually dominate the retail industry. There's a dedicated section of the home screen for Amazon Prime TV Shows and Movies, plus a nifty remote that can call up Alexa on demand.

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