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Amazon Prime Video app for Apple TV beta testing by employees underway, release date still unknown

By Mike Wuerthele

New reports are circulating that the long-awaited Amazon Prime Video app for the Apple TV is being evaluated by Amazon employees -- but several rumored release dates have come and gone, and neither Apple nor Amazon are saying anything about it.

Two Reddit users declared on Wednesday that as Amazon employees, they had access to the beta of Amazon Prime Video for the Apple TV. One user provided what is purported to be a screen shot of the app on the home screen.

AppleInsider has confirmed independently that the beta program is ongoing, and has been so since July in one form or another. However, as of late, there have been few substantive changes to the app.

Previous Reddit posts claimed that Amazon was planning on a September or October release date. However, both previous reports claimed that corporate politics were likely the reason for the release hold-up.

Amazon withdrew the Apple TV and Chromecast on Oct. 29, 2015, after it claimed that Amazon Prime Video compatibility was necessary for the company to sell set-top boxes to avoid "customer confusion." Amazon could have made that happen with a channel in the third-generation device, or an app for the fourth-generation, but at the time it chose to not do so.

In 2016, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos suggested Prime Video would remain off devices made by Apple or any other company marketing comparable set-top streaming products until amicable reimbursement models are agreed upon. Presumably, Bezos didn't want to shell out 30 percent to Apple for content it delivers and sometimes generates itself.

Apple CEO Tim Cook announced at the WWDC that Amazon's video streaming service would be available on the Apple TV in 2017. The app has not as of yet materialized, but an unconfirmed rumor suggested that it could have happened on Sept. 28 in conjunction with a Football game between the Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers that Amazon streamed.

There are no details of any business arrangement between Amazon and Apple for Amazon Prime Video to migrate to tvOS.

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