Monday, July 31, 2017

Why Apple Should Make a Cheaper, Streamlined Apple TV

Dan Moren:

Meanwhile, even some of the major improvements promised by Apple during last year’s September event have yet to come to fruition: single sign-on, for example, continues to lack support from the major cable companies.

As the fourth-generation Apple TV approaches the two-year mark, perhaps it’s time for Apple to take another look at its set-top box.


But that assumption that apps would be a big thing on Apple TV also led Apple to make some other miscalculations. For example, the company continues to offer the Apple TV in two models: a 32GB model for $149 and a 64GB model for $199.


So, where to go from here? I’m skeptical we’ll see any major changes to the Apple TV line this fall, but what I’m hoping for is this: a return to a lower cost Apple TV, somewhere in the $70-$99 range, with a modicum of storage, and perhaps a traditional remote with buttons.

I wonder what Apple thinks the purpose of Apple TV is. The 4th incarnation raised the bar, but not enough to really compete in gaming. It seems like a cheaper version would be better for both their content and iOS businesses. Don’t they want playing their content to be as easy as possible? Don’t they want AirPlay-equipped TVs to be ubiquitous, making every iOS device (and Mac) more useful?

If Amazon can sell a Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote for $40, why can’t Apple sell an Apple TV for $50 instead of $150?

Given that I don’t see any compelling tvOS apps, and have been having problems with my Apple TV 3, I’m tempted to simply exit Apple’s video ecosystem. The main draw at this point, aside from the content I’ve already purchased, is probably the built-in Flickr app.

Previously: The Businesses Apple Has Left Behind, What Happened With the Apple TV 4, Amazon Fire TV Stick 2.

Update (2017-07-31): Michael Rockwell:

I think Apple will offer a lower priced Apple TV soon. There’s already historical precedent for reducing the price of the previous model when a new model is introduced — the third-generation Apple TV was available for $69 for a period of time after the current Apple TV was released. I think they’ll do the same when a more powerful, 4K-capable Apple TV goes on sale this fall.

Oluseyi Sonaiya:

Android TV is under development, but I’m not a believer in the streaming [puck] model. I find Chromecast provides a vastly better UX.

I think I would like that better, too.

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One advantage the airplay stream-from-original-device model has over Chromecast's stream-from-the-TV is the ability to use a VPN on device to get around IP location based filtering. HBO and Netflix both restrict a lot of video content outside the US, even if you sign up and pay in the US

[…] really surprising how little has fundamentally improved in the last two years, and how the strategy remains confused. In retrospect, I wish I had not invested in video content from […]

[…] Previously: Apple TV 4K, Still a Hobby, Why Apple Should Make a Cheaper, Streamlined Apple TV. […]

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