The current Apple TV 4K has only been on shelves for about a year, but a new report says Apple plans to launch a new model before the end of the year.
A tweet from Ming-Chi Kuo’s unverified account on Friday brings long-awaited news about the Apple TV hardware. According to Kuo, Apple plans to release a new version of Apple TV in the second half of this year that “improves the cost structure.” We interpret that as a cheaper Apple TV device.
Apple doesn’t have a stick-like product that can compete with streaming devices in the $50 range, like Roku’s Streaming Stick 4K, Google’s Chormcast, or Amazon’s Fire TV Stick. Apple’s only two streaming devices are full-size boxes, the $149 Apple TV HD and the $179 Apple TV 4K. Kuo seems to be hinting that Apple will finally compete in that space. The lack of a cheaper device is a noticeable gap in Apple’s product offering and is likely to hinder Apple’s growth in the market.
The current Apple TV 4K was last updated in March 2021 with a new processor, better video encoding (4K @ 60fps) and an improved remote. However, the design hasn’t changed in many years and it’s much more expensive than its competitors and lacks features like always-on Siri support and 120Hz resolution.
As for the streaming service Apple TV+, Apple has released programs such as: Ted Lasso and severance pay that have caught on with the public, but the service still lags behind in terms of the number of subscribers. Apple does not release membership data related to Apple TV+ or sales data for Apple TV hardware, but Statisa estimates there are 25 million Apple TV+ subscribers. Netflix has more than 221 million subscribers worldwide, according to Statisa, so Apple has a lot of potential customers it needs to know how to reach. And cheaper Apple TV hardware would help.