Chromecast, a $35 HDMI dongle announced by Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Wednesday that connects devices to televisions over WiFi to stream YouTube and Netflix, is already “temporarily out of stock” on Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN). The device is still available for purchase on BestBuy.com, however, and will not ship for another three or four weeks for orders placed on Google Play.
UPDATE: As of 12:08 p.m., the Chromecast is also sold out at BestBuy.com. Some Best Buy stores already have the Chromecast in stock and ready to buy, and some will be getting it sometime this weekend, with one store that said they would have it in stock on Sunday.
Google introduced the Chromecast at an event in San Francisco, where the company also unveiled the newest version of their mobile operating system, Android 4.3, as well as the second-generation of the company’s tablet computer, the new Nexus 7. For $35, the Chromecast enables many iOS and Android smartphones and tablets to send video, audio and browser information to an HDTV, as well as computers from Apple, Windows and Google’s own Chromebooks.
Amazon offers free two-day shipping to members of its premium Prime service ($80/year), and says it will email those who purchase the Chromecast when the product becomes available again.
BestBuy.com lists a ship date for the Chromecast of about one to two weeks, with expedited options available for extra shipping. Chromecast will also be available in Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) stores, and reports show that the HDMI dongle is already available on shelves in some stores.
Chromecast is also available from Google’s own online Play Store, where the company sells products like the Nexus 4 smartphone and special editions of the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One, but it will not be shipping from Google for another three to four weeks.
Chromecast is seen as a competitor to Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) Apple TV, which requires its own remote and takes up space inside consumer HDTV setups. Apple TV also allows Mac owners to mirror their entire desktop over WiFi using Airplay, in addition to having apps for Netflix, YouTube, Hulu Plus and Pandora. Chromecast so far only has support for Netflix, YouTube and Google Play purchases, as well as the ability to stream from one tab of a browser window. Google said it is working on support for Pandora as well as many other applications for Chromecast.
Before the Chromecast was sold out on Amazon, it had the distinction of being the No. 1 best-selling device in the Televisions & Video Products category for the online retailer.
UPDATE: Chromecast HDMI dongles are also going for over $100 on eBay.
Buyers are also paying a premium for the Chromecast on the auction site eBay, with one auction at $101 with almost an hour remaining. It seems Google's strategy of undercutting competitors, which caused similar shortages with the company's Nexus 4 smartphone (manufactured by LG), is creating sufficient demand for its products.