Amazon could soon join the likes of Roku, Apple, and Google with the introduction of their own set-top box for internet-connected television. Like their popular line of Kindle tablets, it is rumored that the new device will rely on Android to run the show.
Rumors of an Amazon television platform date back to last year when it was believed the online retailer would target a holiday launch. Those plans never realized, but that hasn’t stopped Amazon, according to sources. As with the company’s Kindle tablets, the emphasis in selling a TV box would be on getting more eyes on Amazon’s library of streaming video content.
For the large part, Amazon’s video services have taken a backseat to others like Netflix and even Google Play. The number of Amazon Prime subscribers that don’t take advantage of or even realize they have access to a fairly robust library of movies and television shows (including Amazon originals) is startling, to say the least. A set-top box featuring a heavily modified version of Android would be designed to put this Amazon content front and center for viewers.
Little is known about expected hardware, but there is a chance the box will also act as a connected gaming platform on top of being a centralized media hub. We’d expect a device that is in line with similar Google TV-based offerings.
The Amazon set-top TV box is now expected to launch as early as May. Pricing is unknown at this point, but don’t be surprised to see an ad-subsidized model selling for less than $100.