Not content with simply offering Amazon Prime and the Kindle Fire HD line of tablets, Amazon is gearing up to launch a brand new, set-top box for TVs that will stream video through the Internet.
The new product, yet to be named (although Bloomberg News offered up the title "Kindle TV"), would be released by Amazon later this year and offer users access to Amazon's Video on Demand.
Although Amazon hasn't actually confirmed this development, Bloomberg cited "people with knowledge of the matter," adding that they asked to remain unidentified "because they're not authorized to speak publicly about it."
While the move would certainly throw Amazon in the ring against the Apple TV and the Roku 3 (not to mention rumors of an Xbox Mini meant to stream video content), it would also give the company a chance to promote its own digital video offerings. Any Amazon box would likely prioritize the company's own services, giving it a chance to sell more content to more users.
"It would certainly make some sense," Jason Krikorian, a general partner at venture-capital firm DCM, and the former co-founder of Sling Media, who does not have knowledge of Amazon's plans, said. "They have a ton of content, an existing billing relationship with millions of users."
Apparently, the new Amazon Box / Kindle TV is being developed in Apple's hometown of Cupertino, California, by Amazon's Lab126 department. No price was mentioned by Bloomberg, but it did say that if Amazon follows tradition, the "Kindle TV" could be sold at a very competitive price as the company tries to make up the deficit with content sales.
Even though the alleged Kindle TV would be going head-to-head with Apple TV and Roku 3, it could still feature popular video streaming options like Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube. After all, the Kindle Fire slates all do, and even as Amazon promotes its own services it'd be good to give customers choices.
We'll let you know more if Amazon ends up confirming or denying Bloomberg's report.