April 2, 2014
Later today, Amazon is expected to unveil its new product that will complete in some way with the Apple TV, Roku, and Google Chromecast. Little is known about this “Amazon TV,” except that it will allow users to stream content from Amazon’s existing video service, and that it will run on some sort of “forked” version of Android. Beyond this, the biggest question remains what the device will cost. Re/Code suggests the Amazon TV won’t sell for more than $99, which would put it in line with the Apple TV and high-end Roku 3, but well above the $35 Google Chromecast. They also theorize Amazon could disrupt the industry and offer the new product for free to Amazon Prime customers. This makes some sense. Actually, it makes a lot of sense. In Amazon’s world, content has always been more important than the delivery system. This is why Kindles are sold at near, or below cost. For another, maybe Amazon’s recent price hike for Prime membership from $79 to $99 per year had nothing to do with increased shipping costs, as was believed. Regardless, we’ll know in a few hours. See also: The ‘Amazon TV’ To Ship With Hulu Plus And Netflix.