Amazon is planning a trojan horse for the living room–a proprietary set-top box. The device itself will look to compete with the likes of Roku and Apple TV, but more importantly it will serve as a gateway to Amazon’s marketplace. I would expect the price point to be relatively low given their history in the tablet marketplace. All of this, of course, is speculation as we do not have product details or a release date, just a lot of chatter.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Amazon is going to release a set-top box that will stream online video to your TV. Code-named “Cinnamon,” it will also include apps for playing games, streaming music (from third parties, as well as Amazon), and it will be released in time for the holiday shopping season. Amazon’s end game isn’t just to provide the content to stream, or just sell the box; it is aiming to make most of its money on what people purchase while using the devices, much like it does with the Kindle eReaders and Fire tablets. What’s more, the “Cinnamon” could get more people so subscribe to Amazon Prime, which includes the instant-video function. Pricing for the device itself is unclear, but it’s expected to be competitive with Apple TV and Roku.
Boxee Readying New Set-Top Box with DVR Support?