Amazon’s rumored set-top box for streaming media may finally arrive next month.
Citing anonymous industry sources, a report from Re/code asserts that Amazon is readying a box competitive with Apple TV and Roku’s products for a March launch. It will allegedly be powered by Android, much like Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets, which run a “forked” (independent) version of Google’s mobile operating system.
A dedicated piece of hardware for online media streaming makes a lot of sense for Amazon, which offers a large library of streaming TV shows and movies to Amazon Prime subscribers. It also produces its own original TV content, and it’s rumored to be working on an online TV service that could challenge cable and satellite television providers.
As VentureBeat’s Tom Cheredar mentioned last month, Amazon not only has mountains of consumer shopping data, it also has a platform to sell the products being advertised — something most in the billion dollar TV ad industry can’t match. That could enable the retail giant to effectively monetize a linear TV service, which would nicely complement Amazon’s on-demand offerings as part of a set-top box.
It’s possible an Amazon box may also play games: Amazon acquired Killer Instinct developer Double Helix Games earlier this month, and it posted an Amazon Game Studios job listing on LinkedIn in January. Meanwhile, games blog VG247 recently reported that Amazon is working on an Android box that will offer games alongside music, movies, and TV content.
Amazon has yet to officially confirm the device, but taken together, the rumors point to a Kindle TV-style box. The company was reportedly planning to launch the box during the 2013 holiday season, but it clearly shelved those plans. We’ll be sure to keep you updated as we learn more.