by: Frank Field Updated:
SEATTLE - Amazon won't confirm it, but Bloomberg BusinessWeek reported the company has a new device to stream web-based video to TV and it will be out as soon as fall. And it could help the company find another way into your wallet.
Bloomberg is calling it “Kindle TV,” after Amazon’s popular e-reader, but there is no official word on the device’s existence, let alone a name for it.
If Amazon does build such a device, it will compete against established products like Apple TV, Boxee, Roku and Sony. But Amazon has something those companies don't: warehouses of stuff to sell you. According to technology reporter Emily Parkhurst, a Kindle TV could help them sell it.
"They would like to be your only set-top box that's sitting in your living room,” she said from her office at Puget Sound Business Journal in Seattle. “So as a consumer you're going to turn to them only and them first to buy your content from them."
This means viewers could be watching TV and buying groceries from the same set-top device.
Another lure, original content from the new Amazon Studios -- the in-house production company that has brought more than a dozen original series to the web and that can be accessed by members of Amazon’s “Prime” program that also cuts shipping costs.
Parkhurst said Amazon’s combination of content, existing customer base and trusted name brand will make it an instant threat to competitors.
“If somebody can provide all that content in one place that’s easy to search, easy to use, they’re going to win,” she said.
Amazon is known for undercutting competitors -- the Kindle is cheaper than the iPad, for example -- so it's a good bet that Amazon TV will be well-priced, maybe under a hundred bucks.
Amazon hasn’t responded to requests seeking confirmation the product is in development.