According to a report from the The Wall Street Journal, Amazon may launch an Apple TV competitor early next month. This mystery device will be available for purchase from Amazon.com, Best Buy, and Staples.
There’s no word on pricing at the moment, but the Journal notes that it will run a skinned version of Android like the Kindle Fire and have “a variety of apps” comparable to Apple’s living room solution. To summarize, you can pretty much expect it to have Netflix, Hulu, some type of music streaming service, and of course, Amazon Prime Instant Video.
Along with the standard video streaming services, there’s a slight chance that Amazon’s streaming device will have the ability to run certain apps or games made available through its own app store. In fact, a controller for this rumored functionality was recently leaked. The question is, do regular apps/games belong on a TV?
According to TechCrunch, Amazon’s new streaming device may come in a very small form factor:
Amazon is readying a game console/set top box of its own, and we’ve learned from multiple sources familiar with the device that the Lab126-produced gadget will have a form factor similar to the Chromecast, or in other words it’ll be a stick or dongle as opposed to something like the Apple TV.
Personally, I like the idea of something that plugs in behind a TV. There’s no need for extra space or wires. I own Google’s Chromecast, and while the functionality is limited, for only $35 it’s one of the best streaming devices I have. I think this is something that Amazon could use to seriously dominate the market. I’d love to see an Apple TV dongle.
It’s definitely possible that Apple is working on a next generation Apple TV, but will it arrive late to the party? I’d be really disappointed with an incremental update from the current Apple TV, but at the same time, it’s something that I’ve grown to expect from Cupertino. Let’s hope that Apple has something good enough this year to stay on top of the streaming world.