If plans would push through, Amazon.com, Inc would release a set-top box capable of streaming online content to TV sets in time for the upcoming holiday shopping season. This would not be the first time for the American e-commerce firm to get into gadget-making as it has already tested the waters when it released its Kindle e-reader, which competes with Apple Inc’s iPad and Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy Tab.
According to reports, Amazon.com has approached a number of media software developers and cable TV providers in the past several weeks. The Internet retailer reportedly aims to sign content partnership deals by the middle of this month. The effort is logically to make sure its planned set-top box would be able to provide more content upon its release.
Amazon.com has assigned a codename to its proposed set-top box. The company prefers to call it ‘Cinnamon’ at this stage. The set-top box is expected to have a different name when it gets launched in several weeks. At this time, there is no definite launch date for the device yet but it would surely be sold in time for this year’s holidays.
The launch of the planned set-top box would make Amazon.com compete head-on with Roku and Apple, which both sell top boxes that could stream online content to consumers. Also in the same fray are the ‘smart’ Internet-connected TV sets manufactured by LG Electronics and Samsung. Of course, not to be counted out is Microsoft Corp’s gaming console Xbox, which could stream online content aside from facilitating video gaming.
Amazon.com has established a reputation for producing hardware that sell at break-even. This is the strategy it has been using in the sale of its Kindle tablets. For Amazon.com, it is better to focus more on revenue from digital content as well physical goods that could be marketed and sold using its device.
For the case of ‘Cinnamon,’ the company is expected to use its video-streaming Website, which is part of its subscription service called ‘Prime.’ It competes with Hulu and Netflix, a provider of online streaming media available on-demand.
Amazon’s Prime provides video content that ranges from TV programs, Hollywood movies, and original series. The series costs $99 per year. It facilitates faster delivery of purchased goods on its online site. Thus, it is used to help drive online shopping sales.