Apple may finally launch a cheaper Apple TV set-top box later this year that could help the company to better compete with the cheap Amazon Fire TV sticks, Google Chromecast, or Roku devices. The news comes from Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who also predicted earlier this week that we may see the first iPhone with a USB-C port in 2023.
“Apple will launch a new version of Apple TV that improves cost structure in 2H22. I think that Apple’s aggressive strategy of integrating hardware, content, and service amid the recession will help close the gap with its competitors,” the analyst tweeted today.
Apple will launch a new version of Apple TV that improves cost structure in 2H22. I think that Apple's aggressive strategy of integrating hardware, content, and service amid the recession will help close the gap with its competitors.
— 郭明錤 (Ming-Chi Kuo) (@mingchikuo) May 13, 2022
It’s certainly hard to recommend the current $179 Apple TV 4K or even the older $149 Apple TV HD from 2015 when Chromecast, Fire TV, or Roku streaming sticks are available for less than $100. The Apple TV app is also available on all these platforms, providing seamless access to Apple TV+ and the company’s on-demand movies and TV shows catalog.
Apple TV devices still have value for people living in the Apple ecosystem. The devices provide seamless integrations with other Apple products such as Airpods and Homepods, and Apple’s tvOS platform is also pretty decent. The latest Apple TV 4K revision also fixed the terrible remote that shipped with previous-generation models.
According to the Q4 2021 State of streaming report from analytics company Conviva, Apple TV devices only had a 5.3% share of big-screen viewing at the end of last year, lagging behind Roku (31.8%), Fire TV (16.5%), and Samsung Smart TVs (12.6%). It remains to be seen if a cheaper Apple TV can help the company gain share, though it would be surprising to see Apple abandon its premium positioning.