Amazon TV set-top box to launch in mid-March with forked version of Android?

By Alexandra Burlacu | Mar 02, 2014 07:38 AM EST

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Amazon may be launching its rumored TV set-top box as soon as this month, if a new report is to be believed.

This is not the first time we hear about a potential TV set-top box from Amazon. Previous reports had claimed that Amazon would launch its new gadget in time for the holidays 2013, but that obviously did not happen. Those plans were reportedly pushed back and new information now hints to March as the potential timeframe for the big launch.

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According to a new Re/Code report, Amazon is still working hard to bring its streaming TV device to the market. The gadget should provide access to the company's content library and digital media, including titles from Amazon Instant Video and some things that are available for free for U.S. Amazon Prime members. Moreover, Amazon's music catalog is quite extensive as well, and it would surely be appreciated on a home theater device.

Re/Code further claims that Amazon's upcoming set-top box would run a forked version of Android, similarly to how the company uses a customized version of Google's OS to power its Kindle line of tablets.

The report makes no mention of whether Amazon's new gadget would also support games, but previous reports claimed that it will. While nothing is confirmed at this point, it would make sense for Amazon to plunge into the media center industry and push further to take over your living room.

If the company's purported TV set-top box comes with some version of Android and has full access to the Amazon Appstore, the gadget could well pose a serious challenge to some existing solutions of this kind, which don't really have extensive access to an open app library.

It remains unclear at this point, however, just how much Amazon would charge for such a device. There's also a possibility that the company may launch this as a free benefit for Amazon Prime members, especially if you take into account recent rumors claiming that Amazon will spike up the price of Prime subscriptions by $20 to $40. If this price increase proves to be true, it would help balance out the cost of the hardware.

As always with such reports and speculation, it's best to take this news with a grain of salt. Amazon is yet to make an official announcement regarding plans to launch a TV set-top box, but we'll keep you up to date as soon as it does.

 

 

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