Thursday, September 6, 2012 at 12:00 am.

Amazon ‘made an offer’ for Roku earlier this year

So says Peter Kafka, who supposes that Amazon might show off an Apple TV/Roku-like living-room box of its own at Thursday’s press event in Santa Monica.

That makes some sense to me, too, even if it’s a less-ambitious start, such as a basic Kindle Fire-to-TV adapter. The key digital hub devices are becoming: Smartphone, tablet, and TV-thing, and Amazon is going to want to play in all of those areas, just as Apple, Microsoft, Google, and others are.

A couple things I’d note:

  • After many checks over the years of Roku boxes outselling Apple TV on Amazon’s best-selling electronics list, Apple TV seems to have pulled away with a solid lead. Both today and yesterday, Apple TV has been several places ahead of all the Roku boxes, which start at no. 13. (Of course, Amazon could address that problem with a nice, Kindle-esque homepage placement, if it wanted.)
  • Roku is a Netflix spinoff, as Daniel Roth covered for Wired in 2009. Funny, considering how Amazon and Netflix are increasingly at odds in the streaming wars. Amazon was also one of Roku’s first and most important streaming partners, in addition to Netflix. (I wonder how much of Roku, if any, that Netflix owns?)