If you are hoping there might be an Android TV device waiting for you under the Christmas tree this year, think again. It seems that while many industries have expanded over the last twelve months (just look at the growth of VR), Android TV, has not expanded as much. In fact, if you were to get technical about it, then it is probably much fairer to say in terms of hardware, the market has actually contracted – as there is now technically less Android TV devices on the market.
For instance, the staple of the Android TV world, the Nexus Player was essentially discontinued very early in 2016. So if you are in the market to buy one of them in particular, you are largely out of luck unless you find a reconditioned or used unit. Then we have what is clearly the most popular Android TV device on the market, the NVIDIA SHIELD. Although, it is currently not actually on the market. While the SHIELD has not been officially discontinued, it has largely been out of stock for some time through NVIDIA. While stock has randomly become available at times, right now is not one of those times – with both the 16GB and 500GB models both currently in a 'Notify Me' status.
Which is exactly the same status that the Razer Forge TV currently seems to be in. Like the SHIELD, the Razer Forge TV is currently unavailable to buy from Razor, with interested customers only able to sign up to be notified when one does, if it does, become available.
Which does mean that the only Android TV box that is currently available to buy is the Xiaomi Mi Box. Although, this is not exactly the most available of units. If you do want to pick up the Xiaomi Mi Box as a last minute Christmas gift, you can only currently buy one either directly through Xiaomi (which means you might not get it before Christmas now with shipping) or through Walmart. Which sums up the current status of Android TV in general really – as the only device currently on sale as of today is the Xiaomi Mi Box and the only place to actually buy it as of today is Walmart.
Of course, to be fair to the platform, there are quite a few TVs available which comes powered by Android TV. So if you happen to be in the market for a whole TV, then you do have the option of buying one which comes loaded with Android TV. But that is quite a different market to the average Android TV consumer market. After all, buying a new car just to get Android Auto is not exactly the same as buying an Android Auto head unit for your existing car.
Either way, if you are expecting an Android TV device this Christmas, then it seems fair to say that you are unlikely to be in for much of a surprise as you will either have the Xiaomi Mi box sitting under your tree right now or a TV that comes powered by Android TV. Although, if it is the latter, then you probably already know what you are getting as a whole TV is not the easiest of presents to disguise when wrapping or to fit under the tree.Buy the Xiaomi Mi Box (Walmart)