A new report from the Information says that Apple is considering a cheaper version of the Apple TV to make the streaming box appeal to more consumers.
The report, which says Apple would make a plug-in dongle similar to the Google Chromecast and Amazon Firestick, makes sense. The Apple TV is a more elegant experience and arguably easier to use that any of the streaming services, but once you click Netflix on Apple or Netflix on Chromecast, well, you’re watching Netflix.
For many consumers that’s enough to choose, say, the Firestick over the Apple TV. The Firestick goes for $49.99 and is often much cheaper. The Apple TV is $149 to $199 depending on if you want additional storage or 4K ability.
Apple offers Dolby Atmos support (for superior sound) and Dolby Vision and HDR-10 (for superior picture). But those are niche items for Joe Consumer. You need a specialized soundbar or receiver plus speakers for Atmos. You need a newer (read more expensive TV) for Dolby Vision or HDR. For the typical consumer, those things likely are not as big a draw as price is.
They probably know or believe that the Apple products are better, which we’d argue, but not for such a price hike.
So for the average customer, an Apple TV dongle, priced at around $50, would be a huge seller — and a great thing to introduce along with Apple’s (alleged) new streaming TV service, set (allegedly) to debut in 2019.