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Amazon expected to show off Apple TV competitor on April 2

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
The already crowded streaming set-top box market is about to get even more congested as internet retailing behemoth Amazon looks set to unveil a new web-to-television device of its own next week.

Instant


Amazon has begun inviting members of the press to an April 2 media event hosted by Kindle chief Peter Larsen, according to Re/code. The invitations exhort reporters to join the company "for an update on our video business" and are accompanied with images of a overstuffed couch and kernels of popcorn.

Seattle, Wash.-based Amazon's entry is thought to have been under development for at least a year, suffering multiple delays as management was "underwhelmed" with the product until now. Many expect the box to have strong ties to the company's Prime streaming library, and it is possible that next week's announcement could bring with it an expansion of Amazon's home-grown content initiatives.

Previous reports have indicated that Amazon would seek a slightly expanded distribution footprint for its new device, partnering with brick-and-mortar retailers including Staples and Best Buy to drive sales. Those stores already carry a range of Apple products, including the Apple TV.

For its part, Apple is rumored to introduce a new version of its own streamer sometime in April with upgraded hardware and a revamped user interface alongside the possibility of new content partnerships. The company is believed to be in negotiations with cable giant Comcast for both content and infrastructure partnerships.
post #2 of 16
Does this mean that Apple is Doomed(tm) again? You know, as they where at the Kindle Fire Launch?
post #3 of 16
That's what we need, yet another streaming device. I've got 3 already.
post #4 of 16
I can't wait for apple to release their Apple TV competitor
post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by etslee View Post

That's what we need, yet another streaming device. I've got 3 already.

 

I really don't mind these companies just keep throwing resources at these programs. In the end all they have really done is highlight how good Apple's solution really is or push Apple to focus more and up it to the next level. An SDK for the Apple TV will be game over for everyone else. :)

post #6 of 16

Amazon video is not that good, the few I have watch do not even live up to Netflix quality, The video would shutter all the time and the quality was noticeable bad. I only got it since we signed up for prime to get free shipping last fall for xmass gifts. Otherwise it not worth it, but it was it was essentially free, if we stop paying for prime I will not miss it.

post #7 of 16
@phone-ui-guy:

"I really don't mind these companies just keep throwing resources at these programs. In the end all they have really done is highlight how good Apple's solution really is or push Apple to focus more and up it to the next level. An SDK for the Apple TV will be game over for everyone else. 1smile.gif"

Suure. As if Roku isn't making a ton of money off their set-top box, and as if Google isn't making a ton of money off Chromecast. Sorry, but the only product that Apple was able to thoroughly dominate and not have any real, viable moneymaking competition was the I-Pod. Everything else: PCs, smartphones, tablets ... Apple has and will have competitors.
post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by mensmovement View Post

@phone-ui-guy:

"I really don't mind these companies just keep throwing resources at these programs. In the end all they have really done is highlight how good Apple's solution really is or push Apple to focus more and up it to the next level. An SDK for the Apple TV will be game over for everyone else. 1smile.gif"

Suure. As if Roku isn't making a ton of money off their set-top box, and as if Google isn't making a ton of money off Chromecast. Sorry, but the only product that Apple was able to thoroughly dominate and not have any real, viable moneymaking competition was the I-Pod. Everything else: PCs, smartphones, tablets ... Apple has and will have competitors.

That's true.

I'm actually looking forward to this event. I have prime for the shipping (have a couple different offices In other states so shipping to them is very easy that way). But don't use prime for streaming ever really. That said- it's always cool to see what other companies come out with, even though I likely won't buy it.

2014 27" Retina iMac i5, 2012 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air 2, iPad Mini Retina, iPhone 6, iPhone 5S, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

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2014 27" Retina iMac i5, 2012 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air 2, iPad Mini Retina, iPhone 6, iPhone 5S, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

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post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by mensmovement View Post

@phone-ui-guy:

"I really don't mind these companies just keep throwing resources at these programs. In the end all they have really done is highlight how good Apple's solution really is or push Apple to focus more and up it to the next level. An SDK for the Apple TV will be game over for everyone else. 1smile.gif"

Suure. As if Roku isn't making a ton of money off their set-top box, and as if Google isn't making a ton of money off Chromecast. Sorry, but the only product that Apple was able to thoroughly dominate and not have any real, viable moneymaking competition was the I-Pod. Everything else: PCs, smartphones, tablets ... Apple has and will have competitors.

 

Yep. I'm sure there's just a TON of money in selling $50 and $30 streamers if you are not in control of the actual content being streamed through it. The irony is that Apple is the market leader here. Even though they *just* let the Apple TV out of the "It's just a hobby" - land...

post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonteponte View Post
 

 

Yep. I'm sure there's just a TON of money in selling $50 and $30 streamers if you are not in control of the actual content being streamed through it. The irony is that Apple is the market leader here. Even though they *just* let the Apple TV out of the "It's just a hobby" - land...

Although Wall Street insists that market share is the most important metric, I'm fairly certain that the ability to monetize a product should be much more important to a company.  I'm not sure how many Chromecasts are being sold but it only cost the price of a few packs of cigarettes, so I'll bet Wall Street sees Chromecast market share as strong enough competition to make Apple cry "Uncle".  I'm sticking with my Roku 3 because it does all the things I need it to do and the most important is to support PLEX Client.  I find the Roku 3 speedy and trouble-free, so I can't imagine what would make me jump to some Apple streamer.  I personally think Apple dicked around too long with AppleTV as a hobby but I'm sure Apple can catch up in an instant if it really wanted to.  $160 billion in reserve cash says Apple can be the 800 lb. gorilla in any market imaginable whether Wall Street thinks so or not.  The Amazon streamer will be great for those heavily invested in the Amazon ecosystem but I'd hardly think it would be great for everyone else.  I think those HDMI dongles are rather limited as to what type of processors they can use.  Apple could really crank up a mini-streaming box with an A7 processor for 4K TV watching.

post #11 of 16
Perhaps this'll prompt Apple to let us get a preview of their plans both for streaming and the next Apple TV. That they may do if Amazon's offering is innovative and appealing enough. If it's not, they're likely to stay mum.
post #12 of 16
It's actually a Roku competitor, but the tech press thought it would generate more clicks to call it an AppleTV competitor.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inkling View Post

Perhaps this'll prompt Apple to let us get a preview of their plans both for streaming and the next Apple TV.

I see you're completely unfamiliar with how Apple works. Welcome, new person.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #14 of 16

No, I've been watching Apple for a quarter century. I've seen them preview not-done products to keep people from buying from a competitor. It's simply good marketing. Ditto when there's been a too long delay and people are getting antsy. OS X actually had a public beta period.

In this case, where there's a potentially large and volatile customer database and the competitor is as large as Amazon, it makes even more sense. Amazon went first with epaper readers and no one has ever been able to catch up with them. Apple went first with a good tablet and Amazon has only been able to compete by making theirs cheaper.

What Apple doesn't do is what Microsoft did ages ago, show appealing visuals that have no working product behind them. What Apple shows, it usually delivers.

That doesn't mean Apple with preview the new Apple TV the day after Amazon announces. It may not even mean there'll be a formal announcement. Controlled leaks can serve as well, especially when signing up streaming sources. Imagine, for instance, being able to get video from multiple sources (Netflix, HBO, BBC, etc.) for one monthly fee. That'd keep people waiting. My hunch is that streaming video will be owned by the one that'll offer the most below some particular price point.

post #15 of 16
I am going to go ahead and say that this will have a much larger effect on Roku and Chromecast than it will the AppleTV. This will be especially true if Apple would ever get with the program and release and SDK for the AppleTV. Which, I am expecting with the next major hardware upgrade.

Also, I find it interesting that Apple seems to be taking a different approach to the boxes. While the others are spending a lot of time and effort dealing with the content companies Apple is spending at least as much time dealing with the distributors. I am not sure if I like this, as I don't have cable and have no plans to ever get cable again, but it is a different approach.
post #16 of 16

There is a ton of 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonteponte View Post
 

 

Yep. I'm sure there's just a TON of money in selling $50 and $30 streamers if you are not in control of the actual content being streamed through it. The irony is that Apple is the market leader here. Even though they *just* let the Apple TV out of the "It's just a hobby" - land...

There is a ton of money. Just not as much as Apple makes. Apple is the market leader? Well since their box came out in 2007, where Roku launched in 2011 and Chromecast came out in 2013, they should be. And since Apple TV offers an ecosystem that Roku does not, that is another big advantage also. 

The idea "if you are not making as much money as Apple you are failure" is nuts. Having $160 billion is great, but tons of companies will "settle" for only $16 billion or $1.6 billion. Some will even "settle" for $160 million, especially if it is a large diverse company (like Samsung, Microsoft, Google, Acer, Sony, HP) for whom making competing products with Apple simply adds to their bottom line and is used as a hook to draw people to their other products.

 

Take Chromecast and the upcoming Amazon dongle. Even if they are "break-even" (as Amazon's Kindle products are, as are Google's Nexus line, which Google is dumping next year by the way, replacing it with a Google Play line that will have a much superior version of Android on it) they get people to use other company products to increase the profit margin on them. Chromecast for instance requires a Chrome browser and drives YouTube traffic. The Amazon dongle will increase the number of Amazon Prime buyers and subscribers, and the gaming component will mean more people buying Angry Birds through the Amazon Store instead of the Google Play store. 

 

Sorry, but you guys need to acknowledge that just because everyone doesn't have Apple's business model doesn't mean that it is a bad business model. Especially with companies that are vastly different from Apple anyway. Apple is a hardware company that makes its own software for their devices instead of relying on third party hardware. Good for them. Which means that their real competitors are/were actually companies like IBM, Gateway, Dell, Toshiba, Lenovo (yes many of whom have fallen to the wayside) etc. and is now primarily Samsung. Microsoft is a software company. They can just shift focus and stop trying to make money primarily with Windows and instead find ways to make money off everybody tomorrow. (Or yesterday since that seems primarily to be Natella's strategy: Office on IOS today and Android tomorrow. Go ahead and release Office on Linux I guess.) Amazon and Google meanwhile are Internet companies, a business model that didn't even exist until years after Apple was founded. Their interest in hardware - and software - is to drive their Internet business. Amazon sells hardware to get you to buy stuff from their store, Google sells hardware so they can collect your data and get you to use their search engines. 

 

Apple has no ability to - or reason to really - to compete with Google, Microsoft or Amazon. They DO have the ability/reason to compete with Samsung. But even there, Samsung has learned from the failure of the Wintel companies. Microsoft was able to bully other (mostly American) OEMs to prevent them from using any OS but Windows, including OS developed for their own hardware. But Samsung makes devices with Windows, Android, ChromeOS, now their own Tizen OS ... anything that will sell. 

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