Amazon will begin shipping its long-awaited video-streaming device in early April, through its website as well as retailers including Best Buy and Staples said people familiar with the company's plans.
The Amazon device will carry a variety of apps available on Roku Inc. and Apple set-top boxes and run on a version of Google's Android software, like Amazon's tablet computers, these people said. Roku's most popular apps include video services Netflix and Hulu Plus and music service Pandora, as well as Amazon's own video-streaming service.
Pricing remains unclear, though the people familiar with the e-commerce giant's plans said the device likely would come with incentives available to members of Amazon's Prime streaming video and shipping program.
At this time it looks like the device will be a dongle, and include access to a number of competing services including Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Instant Video. Few specific details are known about the device at this time, but it is generally safe to assume that it does exist and will launch this Spring.
I don't know whether this is part of Amazon's marketing plan or simply the fact that no one can keep a secret, but Amazon's past product launches have been heralded by extensive leaks. Last year we knew pretty much everything about the new Kindle tablets long before they launched, and in 2012 we knew a fair amount about the new Kindle Paperwhite and the new tablets released that year.
Over the next few weeks we're probably going to read many rumors about Amazon's latest gadget. Most, if not all, will be true.