SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc, which entered the gadget-making business with the Kindle e-reader, intends to sell a set-top box that can stream Internet content to televisions in time for the holidays, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.
The Internet retailer has approached media software developers as well as cable television providers in recent weeks, hoping to secure content partners for the device by mid-October, the newspaper reported, citing people briefed on the company’s plans.
Amazon did not immediately respond to a request by Reuters for comment.
Its envisioned set-top box is codenamed “Cinnamon”, and no launch date has been decided, the newspaper reported.
If it goes ahead with its plans, Amazon would join a market alongside Apple Inc and Roku, which sell boxes that stream content provided by the likes of Netflix Inc to living rooms. So-called “smart” or Internet-connected TVs made by Samsung and LG Electronics and game consoles like Microsoft’s Xbox also stream online content.
Amazon has a reputation for selling hardware at close to break-even, as it does with its tablets, to focus on making money from the sale of digital content and physical goods. It operates a video-streaming website as part of its “Prime” subscription service that competes with Netflix.
To compete with Netflix and Hulu in the online media market, Amazon has been building up video content ranging from TV programs and Hollywood movies to its own original series. Prime, which costs $99 a year and promises faster delivery of goods bought on its website, is also considered crucial to driving online shopping.
Reporting by Eddie Chan