Market Overview

Amazon To Take On Apple TV, Chromecast This Fall

Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) is rumored to be building set-top box to take on Apple TV (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Google's (NASDAQ: GOOG) Chromecast.

This rumor is not particularly new -- the online retail giant has been rumored to be developing a TV-connected device since August.

The first rumor focused on video games, however. Amazon was expected to build a low-cost Android-powered device to take on Sony's (NYSE: SNE) PlayStation 4 and Microsoft's (NASDAQ: MSFT) Xbox One.

Now the Amazon rumor mill seems to be shifting its attention toward a more generic set-top box.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Amazon will release a "video-streaming device" in time for the holiday shopping season.

The device is expected to compete with Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku and other Internet-connected devices that deliver streaming video to HD television sets. But it could also provide an advantage in promoting Amazon's own streaming video service.

Right now, Hulu, Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX), HBO Go and other services rely on the continued use of third-party PCs, tablets, set-top boxes, game consoles and other devices. Without them, consumers could not watch streaming video.

Related: iPad Mini 2 Rumor Roundup

By creating its own set-top box, Amazon would be the first company to offer both a streaming video service (Amazon Prime) and a TV-specific device for viewing video content.

Even so, don't expect Amazon to block Netflix or any other service from its set-top box, which is code-named "Cinnamon." The company is expected to offer apps for those services as well, just as it does for its Kindle Fire line of tablets.

While this rumored device may not be a game console (as previously thought), it will play Android-based games.

According to the Journal's report, app developers have until mid-October to submit their apps for the new set-top box.

Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Louis Bedigian had no position in the equities mentioned in this report.

Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer of Benzinga. You can reach him at louis(at)benzingapro(dot)com. Follow him @LouisBedigianBZ

Posted-In: Amazon Amazon Prime Apple Apple TV ChromecastNews Rumors Tech Best of Benzinga

 

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