Talking tech since 2003

Amazon has already claimed a piece of the tablet market and a smartphone is rumored to be in development. Why not complete the trifecta with a set-top box that taps into the Amazon ecosystem? According to sources for Bloomberg Businessweek, the company plans to do just that with a device many are calling the Kindle TV.

kindle apps
A Kindle TV box could feature apps, much like Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet.

That isn’t the actual, confirmed name for the box, but based on Amazon’s previous product names and its assumed desire to link the box to its Kindle ecosystem, the Kindle TV seems like a pretty safe bet.

The Kindle TV would enter a market that is already full of streaming set-top boxes. There are products available from Apple, Roku and Boxee as well as several different devices that run Google TV, an Android-based TV operating system. On top of those popular products, just about every company that develops networking gear has some kind of set-top box — Netgear, D-Link, etc.

It’s a crowded area to jump into, for sure, but not every company has the enormous content library and app ecosystem that Amazon boasts. Between the TV shows and movies that it sells and rents, as well as the free titles available through Amazon Prime, the company has video covered quite well. And its Appstore for its Kindle Fire products means that Amazon could potentially introduce apps to its set-top box like Google TV has.

It would be interesting to see if Amazon allowed other media apps onto its Kindle TV box, but judging from the company’s approach toward the Kindle Fire, I doubt Amazon would block apps like Netflix or Hulu from showing up on the device. The main draw toward putting out a set-top box for Amazon is the ability to show more favor toward its own properties and content, not necessarily shut out all consumer entertainment options.

Amazon has not yet commented on the Kindle TV, and because the product is still under wraps, I doubt we’ll be getting a straight answer anytime soon. We’ll keep you up to speed should we hear anything more.

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