Bensinger reports, citing sources close to the project, that the finished product will come pre-loaded with a number of apps available on both Roku and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s set-top boxes while running on a version of Android similar to its line of tablets already available to the public. The apps in question are Hulu Plus, Netflix, Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN)’s proprietary streaming app, and Pandora among others.
How much will it cost?
Pricing information remains vague but it is expected that there will be room for Amazon Prime customers to purchase the box at a lower price point than non-subscribers. Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) recently increased the price of Prime to $99 from $79 annually. It’s believed that this cost increase reflects the growing cost of licensing video and the growing speculation that Amazon wishes to purchase a fleet of vehicles to begin offering same-day delivery in larger markets.
When Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) releases the device it will find itself in direct competition with Roku and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s Chromecast, the latter is a massive seller on Amazon somewhat ironically. With Roku devices selling beginning at $50 and Chromecast selling for just $35, the question becomes whether Amazon will go big like Apple TV or find a price between the aforementioned streaming devices.
Ending the reliance on others’ hardware
While Amazon has begun producing its own original content, it has been forced to rely on other companies’ devices to show its content. As a result, Amazon has left a revenue stream untapped by failing to profit from ads or app downloads. Additionally, Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) was able to custom craft its original production, House of Cards, by collecting consumer data, something that Amazon will now have access to with the release of its own device.
Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), as they generally do, has declined to comment on its device when contacted.
The company has received critical acclaim for its political comedy “Alpha House” that was created by Doonesbury creator Gary Trudeau and stars John Goodman. Owing to that success, Amazon intends to create a wealth of new shows.
A TechCrunch report Monday said the device will resemble Chromecast’s dongle, which plugs into a television and looks like a thumb drive. But whether or not it carries the “Fire” name offers a remote control, or other features are simply a matter of conjecture despite the fact that a number of app developers are already in possession of the device.