Amazon is expected to showcase its band new TV - streaming device at a press conference in New York City on 2nd April.
Amazon to Invest in a Streaming Device for TV?
According to Business Insider, Brad Stone, "Amazon will introduce a mobile phone or an Internet-connected television set-top box ... because the company wants to offer its services on all the connected devices that its customers use without having to rely entirely on the hardware of its competitors."
This clearly shows Amazon's inclination towards expanding the scope of their core business. Hence the rumor of a possible 'streaming device' for TV might as well become a reality today during the press conference.
The Mystery Device
The mystery device is potentially a dongle similar to Google's Chromecast or Roku's streaming stick. This device is rumored to work in tandem with any television set when the dongle is fitted into the HDMI port.
Google's Chromecast is already making some noise with its dongle/stick. In addition, the Google Nexus 6 is expected to give support to Chromocast TV stick. This trend clearly indicates that TV streaming sticks are likely to rule the roost in the near future.
Roku, which is touted to be Amazon's future competitor extends support to three hardware devices in this category. With Google & Roku's strong presence, Amazon might have much more to offer than just a TV streaming stick. It is speculated that they might enter the gaming arena.
Other than streaming content on the TV, the dongle is expected to do much more.
According to Gizmodo, Dave Zatz posted screenshots of Amazon branded gaming controller look-alike that is speculated to be the controller for Amazon's TV streaming stick.
Since it is a gaming controller, it is assumed that along with streaming content to TV, the dongle hand-in-hand with the controller can double as a gaming machine of sorts.
The games could be Android based in the likes of the games on Amazon's Kindle Fire. With all these possibilities around, Amazon might just emerge as a competitor to Apple TV.
Amazon's Kindle is touted as the gateway to Amazon's books, in the same way, the new streaming stick could become the gateway to Amazon's movies and shows, claims report.
Do We Have a Name?
According to reports, the dongle & the rumored gaming controller might be called "Kindle TV", "Fire TV" or "Firetube".
The mystery device is expected to run on Kindle Fire OS, a custom version of Google's Android operating system. Notably, Amazon has trademarked the name "Firetube" in the U.S. and in Canada, according to reports.
Although there is no information on the price range of the mystery product from Amazon, an approximate price range can be arrived at based on the existing products/devices.
TV streaming is not a new arena, it is a fairly established landscape and Amazon is definitely not the pioneer.
With competitors Roku and Chromecast selling their products in the price range of $50 and $35; it is only obvious that Amazon will not dare to cross that price range.
Amazon could even price their dongle lesser than $35, owing to the fact that they benefit from media sales, memberships, and advertisements, claims report.
According to Gizmodo, this device might be applicable to Amazon's $100 per year prime service for free.
The Wall Street Journal reported that, Amazon is working on a free, ad-supported streaming service for non-prime subscribers.
Watch out this space for more updates.