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New Apple TV: More $$, Not Content – Report

Mari Silbey
8/31/2015

The endless Apple rumor mill has produced another tempting tidbit on Apple TV. Or in this case, maybe not so tempting.

9to5Mac is reporting that the fourth-generation Apple TV, which is scheduled to launch at a September 9 Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) event, will ring in with a starting price tag of either $149 or $199. That's more than twice the amount of the current Apple TV, which fell to $69 earlier this year. For the added cost, users will reportedly get an app store on the TV (with SDK for developers), a new user interface, Siri support for voice interaction and a new remote control. What buyers won't get, however, is a new cable-killing Apple TV service. At least not yet.

Word leaked earlier this month that a rumored $40-per-month Apple TV service has been delayed again until next year. Reports claimed that Apple has had trouble negotiating content deals, a challenge that has thwarted the company and many others for years. (See Rumored Apple TV Service Hits Another Snag.)


Want to know more about the impact of web services on the pay-TV sector? Check out our dedicated OTT services content channel here on Light Reading.


Meanwhile, there may be new options now that the Downloadable Security Technology Advisory Committee (DSTAC) has submitted its recommendations to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) . If the DSTAC's recommendations are accepted, perhaps Apple will soon be able to offer access to pay-TV apps from the major service providers on the Apple TV, or access to pay-TV content with Apple's own interface overlaid on top. (See DSTAC: 2 Opposing Views on the Future of TV.)

It could happen. Just don't hold your breath.

— Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, Light Reading

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kq4ym
kq4ym
9/12/2015 | 7:52:41 PM
Re: Where's the value?
Yes, you can chalk one up for Apple's brand loyaly. But, getting great content at competitive costs is going to be the goal everyone is seeking. Until all the compromises among players work out, it's still going to be anyone's game in the near future, new hardware boxes or not. 
Ariella
Ariella
9/1/2015 | 2:08:28 PM
Re: Where's the value?
@MendyK True, that is absolute genuis. Really, in the eyes of millions, the company can do now wrong.
mendyk
mendyk
9/1/2015 | 2:05:57 PM
Re: Where's the value?
Apple deserves huge credit not only for figuring out that brand loyalty requires a degree of irrational devotion but also executing a strategy that captures that devotion and stokes it on a regular basis.
Ariella
Ariella
9/1/2015 | 1:14:40 PM
Re: Where's the value?
<As ever, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And those who are beholden to Apple are legion?

@MendyK too true! Did I mention here that people approach the Apple store in NYC like one would a shrine? 
mendyk
mendyk
9/1/2015 | 8:13:52 AM
Re: Where's the value?
As ever, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And those who are beholden to Apple are legion.
Mitch Wagner
Mitch Wagner
8/31/2015 | 6:37:59 PM
Re: Where's the value?
Apple's value proposition is better design, robustness, platform integration, and ease of use. I'm not seeing any of that here. But we haven't seen the product yet.
mendyk
mendyk
8/31/2015 | 12:40:36 PM
Re: Where's the value?
"...similar capabilties to competitive devices, at a much higher price." Mitch -- Haven't you just described Apple's core strategy?
CableGuru2015
CableGuru2015
8/31/2015 | 12:38:24 PM
Re: Where's the value?
I would be shocked if it didn't have 4K and perhaps a good 4K content library.  Also, the new iPhone 6S will have 4K recording capability so some tight integration there will be interesting.
Mitch Wagner
Mitch Wagner
8/31/2015 | 12:33:17 PM
Where's the value?
Seems to be similar capabilties to competitive devices, at a much higher price. Not seeing the value here. 
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