According to a report by Re/code, Internet retail behemoth Amazon is getting ready to launch a connected-TV set-top box that would compete with Apple TV and Roku devices.
According to people familiar with Amazon’s partnering plans, the company is set to launch the new TV device in March which would preempt a reported spring Apple TV refresh.
While Amazon releasing a TV device may not be surprising in itself, the company did shelve plans for a late 2013 TV box after reportedly working on the project for much of 2013, the timing is certainly interesting.
Although the feature set of the Amazon TV device is unknown, an Internet-connect media device makes a lot of sense for Amazon and the most recent report claims that the set-top box will tie in with Amazon’s Instant Video service which has been steadily growing its video catalog as well as offering Amazon-produced content. Amazon also has a wealth of digital music offerings which would no doubt feature.
Re/code’s report also suggests that the Amazon TV will allow other content providers to serve up their content via apps, again similar to the Apple TV, with suggestion that the device may also function as a “gaming hub”.
Sources state that the Amazon’s box will use Google’s Android operating system. This is unsurprising considering Amazon’s Kindle Fire line of tablets using a forked version of Android.
Apple is said to be hard at work on its new TV offering with new hardware, software and content deals. The timing of the launch of an Amazon TV device means it could enter the fray just before Apple’s new hardware making for heated battle for living room supremacy.