Technology

Apple TV could get cheaper this year to compete with Chromecast and Roku

The Apple TV 4K may be one of the best streaming devices you can buy, but it’s far from the cheapest. With a starting price of $179 for the 32GB model and going up to $199 for the 64GB version, it’s prohibitively expensive for those who just want to supplement their TV’s streaming capabilities with extra channels, and it’s hard to justify when Chomecast, Fire TV and Roku do it. the same for a much smaller amount.

According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo – a man with an extremely strong track record when it comes to predicting Apple’s moves – the company will fix that later this year with stripped-down hardware to better compete with more budget-friendly options.

“Apple will release a new version of Apple TV that will improve the cost structure in 2H22,” Kuo tweeted. “I think Apple’s aggressive strategy of integrating hardware, content and services in a recession will help close the gap.”

What it will actually look like is anyone’s guess, but competitors have been able to get attractive deals in the form of streaming sticks that plug straight into an HDMI port, without the need for a physical box. The Roku Streaming Stick 4K and Chromecast with Google TV are available for $50, while the Amazon TV Stick 4K Max is only $5 more. It seems unlikely that Apple will cut the price to that level, but never say never.

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Apple difference

Of course, Apple TV 4K is more expensive not only because it’s Apple. It not only has a smart remote control with built-in Siri, but is also equipped with an A12 Bionic chip. It’s the same processor as in the iPhone XS, making it significantly faster than just about every other streaming option except for the Nvidia Shield with its competitive Tegra X1+ processor. It’s also what makes it a viable gaming platform and a big advantage for those with an Apple Arcade subscription.

If achieving a competitive price means giving up that power and the ability to play games, then that would be a blow to Apple. But by and large, it’s probably not as big of a blow as losing the streaming war to companies like Amazon.

While you can now get Apple TV Plus on any number of other devices, an Apple-branded TV stick at a competitive price could amplify content, potentially attracting subscriptions for those firmly in the company’s ecosystem and steal much-needed market share.

There’s no suggestion that a cheaper streaming platform will actively replace the Apple TV 4K, so maybe there’s room for both of them? Whether Kuo is right, we will find out in the second half of the year.

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