Editorial: Apple Arcade is likely to drive a new A12X Apple TV

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited September 4
Apple TV hardware hasn't been updated for two years-- which just so happens to be the typical length of time before a new model is introduced. This year, Apple could have a special impetus to update Apple TV based on its new Apple Arcade gaming subscription and the availability of the faster, smaller A12X chip. Here's why.


Arcade bridges Apple's platforms from Macs to iOS to Apple TV

About time

The most recent fifth-generation Apple TV 4K was introduced in September 2017, powered by the same A10X Fusion used in 2017 iPad Pro models. It replaced the fourth generation "Apple TV HD" that was introduced two years prior. Both models run tvOS, Apple's TV-optimized version of iOS designed to run third-party apps and games from the App Store.

Earlier iOS-based Apple TV models were released in 2010 and 2012, with a 2013 refresh that established the two-year cadence for shipping new Apple TV models across the last decade. This biennial pattern leverages the constant annual updates of iPhones and iPads to refresh Apple TV with shared silicon, half as often.

Two years after the last Apple TV shipped, Apple now has a much more powerful A12 Bionic chip family that it has already shipped across hundreds of millions of iPhones and iPads over the last year. That volume helps to reduce the cost of the chip due to the economies of scale.

The A12 SoCs are also smaller, enabling the same silicon wafer to yield more chips. That means that a silicon upgrade could result in a faster more powerful Apple TV at little or no additional component cost. Apple does not appear to make its typical hardware margins from Apple TV sales, further explaining why it is updated less frequently.

New Arcade focus on Apple TV

After years of being only a TV streaming box, Apple TV only gained the ability to play third party games and other apps, ranging from shopping to news and on-demand broadcasting titles, starting in 2015. However, gaming has been slow to take off for a number of reasons, including its non-optimal Siri Remote that serves as its default controller.

This year, the introduction of Apple Arcade focused new attention on Apple TV as a gaming option. One of the primary features of the new Arcade gaming subscription is the ability to run titles across iOS, iPadOS, macOS, and tvOS. Users can begin playing a game on their TV and continue playing later on a Mac or mobile device. This should significantly enhance the status of Apple TV as a gaming device.


Apple emphasized cross platform play as key feature of Apple Arcade


Rather than being siloed into a relatively small installed base of around 40 million Apple TV users, Apple Arcade titles tie together the combined installed base of around 1.4 billion active iPhones, iPads and Macs, giving developers a strong impetus to make games that work well across Apple's devices.

In addition to driving more developer interest to the Apple TV platform with Arcade, Apple also announced at this summer's WWDC19 that tvOS would begin supporting both Sony Playstation 4 DualShock and Microsoft Xbox One controllers natively. This new feature is also supported on iOS 13 devices, but the fact that Apple announced it first on Apple TV-- to significant applause-- suggests that Apple is getting finally serious about home television gaming.


This year, Apple announced popular game controller support for iOS 13 and tvOS

What's new in the A12X Bionic

With the A10X Fusion brains of a recent iPad Pro, the existing Apple TV 4K is fine at playing the casual games that already exist for tvOS. However, the faster A12X Bionic that shipped in last year's iPad Pro models-- there was no X version of the A11-- delivers 35 percent faster single-core CPU performance and is up to 90 percent faster at multi-core CPU tasks. More importantly for a video games device, the A12X also delivers a revision of Apple's custom GPU which drives twice the graphics performance of the earlier A10X.

The A12X also includes Apple's screaming fast Neural Engine, which like the GPU can be used to drive specific functions, particularly in Machine Learning and Augmented Reality. Apple TV doesn't have any of the cameras or sensors required for biometrics and AR, but its use of this specialized processing could potentially drive new gaming features.

The Neural Engine also exists on all A12 iPhones delivered over the past year, so there are well over 100 million devices already making use of the custom silicon, enabling games and other apps to experiment with it while still finding a huge audience for their titles making use of custom Neural Engine silicon.

Other features a new Apple TV model could introduce include support for an enhanced Siri Remote, or a bundled game controller that sets up the unit for playing more sophisticated games right from the start. Apple may also be interested in supporting the emerging HDMI 2.1 with support for Variable Refresh Rates and Auto Low-Latency Mode, which enable a device to optimize display settings with supported television to adjust the refresh rate to the type of content being displayed, resulting in smoother rendering of fast-moving content.

Better features at a similar price

Apple has been getting free advice for years that the secret to selling more devices is to drive selling prices down into loss-leader territory. Analysts began demanding consumers have access to $300 iPhones straight from Apple and not used many years ago, and have repeated the same refrain for iPads, HomePod, and of course, Apple TV.

Yet, Apple has since proven that it is far more valuable to sell fewer units in the premium tier in phones, tablets, PCs and elsewhere. That indicates that the idea of it selling a super-cheap Apple TV model is very unlikely to ever happen.

The major benefit to shipping a cheap TV dongle would be an expanded platform capable of hosting the company's upcoming Apple TV+ subscription channel, as well as related technologies like AirPlay 2. Yet earlier this year, Apple outlined plans to delegate this free hardware giveaway to partners such as Samsung, Amazon, and Roku, which are already in the business of giving away hardware with the intent of earning money back with affiliate deals and surveillance advertising.


Apple delegated cheap TV dongle hardware to existing players to focus on premium


While Amazon and others are topping unit shipments of TV dongles, Apple TV is achieving a strong showing as a premium device that appeals to users who want more than cheap hardware. As noted by Joshua Fruhlinger of ThinkNum based on sales data from Best Buy of sales of 4K streaming devices, "Amazon has taken the clear lead, with Apple TV a close second."

He added that "the Fire Stick is an inexpensive way to get into 4K streaming at just $35. And despite the Apple TV's higher cost [$180] compared to the others in this list, people appear to be turning to Apple for its ease of use and integration with other Apple and iCloud devices."

Fruhlinger also pointed out that "now that 4K TVs are ubiquitous and Apple has made its iTunes ecosystem relatively seamless, it appears the Apple TV 4K is becoming the go-to device."

So rather than joining the surveillance model of smart TV and media stick vendors to achieve market share and unit volume numbers, Apple is riding the wave of subsidized TV sets to provide a premium alternative that users can opt to pay for as a way out of being spied upon and tracked as a product for advertisers, offering premium hardware from a company with a reputation for not collecting and selling users' data.

It's possible Apple could introduce a new Apple TV next week at its iPhone 11 event, but hints at a later introduction of new iPad Pro models could mean that a new TV refresh might occur in October.
lolliverwatto_cobra
«13

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 53
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 1,006member
    Let's hope the games on Apple Arcade are more serious games like on Mac, Windows and consoles. At the moment they're mostly just crappy childish phone games blown up to TV size. There's a bit of a vicious circle as to why I don't play many AppleTV games: cost of the games themselves with no demo, and requirement for the better games to have a controller. The cost of these combined is a little too much for me.
    beowulfschmidtMetriacanthosaurusbigtdsAbove_The_GodsAppleExposed
  • Reply 2 of 53
    There is no mention of Apple TV in leaked document you posted today so it it happens it will be in November earlier.
  • Reply 3 of 53
    Despite being a pioneer, AppleTV is now a massive underachiever. They’ve been pretty convincingly overtaken by Roku. If it weren’t for my photos and my music, I’d pretty much jettison both mine. The remote is an insufferable joke. 

    Faster processors and Arcade and Jennifer Anniston and such ain’t going to cut it. 
    muthuk_vanalingamlkruppelijahgmobirdbigtdsAbove_The_GodswilliamlondonAppleExposed
  • Reply 4 of 53

    Better features at a similar price

    Apple has been getting free advice for years that the secret to selling more devices is to drive selling prices down into loss-leader territory. Analysts began demanding consumers have access to $300 iPhones straight from Apple and not used many years ago, and have repeated the same refrain for iPads, HomePod, and of course, Apple TV.

    Yet, Apple has since proven that it is far more valuable to sell fewer units in the premium tier in phones, tablets, PCs and elsewhere. That indicates that the idea of it selling a super-cheap Apple TV model is very unlikely to ever happen.


    Ok.... MY "free advice":   Bull!
    I have not seen any evidence that "Apple has since proven that it is far more valuable to sell fewer units in the premium tier "
    Further, why does it have to be either / or?  Either very cheap or very expensive.   That's kind of black and white argument is the sign of a weak argument.

    While admittedly, Apple transitioning to cheap products ($300 iPhones) would have multiple negative effects, that does not mean that they have to or even should rely only on premium products.   Apple has both the ability to produce moderately priced products (the Xr is an excellent example) as well as the customer base to support it.   Plus, selling last year's products at reduced prices leverages their fixed investments into the development and manufacture of those devices -- which is a win-win for everybody.

    That said, the current AppleTV seems locked into a no-man's land:  it is moderately to high priced but offers little more functionality than far cheaper competitor's products.   Apple and its customers could benefit by producing a "pro" model AppleTV -- while leaving lower priced model for those who do just fine watching the evening news of Sunday game on their AppleTV.
    muthuk_vanalingamAppleExposed
  • Reply 5 of 53
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,311member
    Despite being a pioneer, AppleTV is now a massive underachiever. They’ve been pretty convincingly overtaken by Roku. If it weren’t for my photos and my music, I’d pretty much jettison both mine. The remote is an insufferable joke. 

    Faster processors and Arcade and Jennifer Anniston and such ain’t going to cut it. 
    Could you elaborate? How is the Apple TV an underachiever? What is superior about the Roku other than unit sales? My Apple TV HD does precisely what it was designed to do, that being streaming music and video, providing a plethora of apps from which to choose, games. Back in the day the Windows people used to mock Apple users over how much software was available for Windows compared to OS X, leaving out the fact that most of that Windows software was cheap crap. In my opinion you are dead wrong and the Roku is the streaming world’s Windows, market share and nothing superior about it.
    edited September 4 eideardAbove_The_GodsmacplusplusargonautwilliamlondonStrangeDayslolliverwatto_cobraAppleExposed
  • Reply 6 of 53
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 1,006member
    lkrupp said:
    Despite being a pioneer, AppleTV is now a massive underachiever. They’ve been pretty convincingly overtaken by Roku. If it weren’t for my photos and my music, I’d pretty much jettison both mine. The remote is an insufferable joke. 

    Faster processors and Arcade and Jennifer Anniston and such ain’t going to cut it. 
    Could you elaborate? How is the Apple TV an underachiever? What is superior about the Roku other than unit sales? My Apple TV HD does precisely what it was designed to do, that being streaming music and video, providing a plethora of apps from which to choose, games. Back in the day the Windows people used to mock Apple users over how much software was available for Windows compared to OS X, leaving out the fact that most of that Windows software was cheap crap. In my opinion you are dead wrong and the Roku is the streaming world’s Windows, market share and nothing superior about it.
    1. There are no decent games for it, despite it being marketed as a gaming device - amongst its other features. 
    2. The third party apps available are pretty poor, they all seem like The only one I use regularly is Plex, and that's available on pretty much any streaming box.
    3. The remote is utterly abysmal. It's terrible. You don't know what way around it is, and they have tried to overload the buttons with too many things. When one button can do three things, it's time for another button. It's also slippery and fragile.
    4. The UI is crap. It looks nice but that's the extent of it. The menu button sometimes takes you back to the home screen, sometimes back up a level in the app, sometimes shows the top menu. The top menu being invisible most of the time is ridiculous because without prior knowledge you have no idea if there's a menu at all.
    5. Siri is useless. I literally never use it because rather than searching my libraries for things I want to watch, it leans heavily towards suggesting I buy new things in iTunes.
    6. Did I mention how crap the remote is?
    7. It's quite expensive for what you get. 

    muthuk_vanalingambigtdsanantksundaramwattoukwilliamlondonentropysgatorguysteveau
  • Reply 7 of 53
    frantisek said:
    There is no mention of Apple TV in leaked document you posted today so it it happens it will be in November earlier.
    The document was detailing the version of iOS that would be delivered on new iPhones. So there's no reason to think it would list out all new hardware, including Apple TV units that do not ship with any version of iOS 13.
    lolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 53
    elijahg said:
    Let's hope the games on Apple Arcade are more serious games like on Mac, Windows and consoles. At the moment they're mostly just crappy childish phone games blown up to TV size. There's a bit of a vicious circle as to why I don't play many AppleTV games: cost of the games themselves with no demo, and requirement for the better games to have a controller. The cost of these combined is a little too much for me.
    Apple initially required all titles to work with the Siri Remote, but this hobbled playback and prevented games developers from setting a minimum controller for good gameplay. The fact that some more complex games require a dedicated controller is not a problem, it's a solution. 

    Are you arguing for stretched up iPhone games, or against higher quality games optimized for a console-type TV experience? Because it makes no sense to complain about both directions at once. 


    macpluspluswilliamlondonStrangeDayslolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 53

    Despite being a pioneer, AppleTV is now a massive underachiever. They’ve been pretty convincingly overtaken by Roku. If it weren’t for my photos and my music, I’d pretty much jettison both mine. The remote is an insufferable joke. 

    Faster processors and Arcade and Jennifer Anniston and such ain’t going to cut it. 
    As the report cited at the end indicated, that's just not true. Roku is fine for streaming basic channels, but for anyone who wants a complete experience that integrates with iCloud, iOS devices, media including Photos and iTunes, and tvOS apps, Apple TV is the only option, and it's a popular option. 

    If you don't like the Siri Remote it ships with, you can use it with any number of other remotes and controllers, including the Remote app for iOS. 
    macplusplusargonautwilliamlondonStrangeDayslolliverwatto_cobraAppleExposed
  • Reply 10 of 53
    elijahg said:
    lkrupp said:
    Despite being a pioneer, AppleTV is now a massive underachiever. They’ve been pretty convincingly overtaken by Roku. If it weren’t for my photos and my music, I’d pretty much jettison both mine. The remote is an insufferable joke. 

    Faster processors and Arcade and Jennifer Anniston and such ain’t going to cut it. 
    Could you elaborate? How is the Apple TV an underachiever? What is superior about the Roku other than unit sales? My Apple TV HD does precisely what it was designed to do, that being streaming music and video, providing a plethora of apps from which to choose, games. Back in the day the Windows people used to mock Apple users over how much software was available for Windows compared to OS X, leaving out the fact that most of that Windows software was cheap crap. In my opinion you are dead wrong and the Roku is the streaming world’s Windows, market share and nothing superior about it.
    3 through 6 are the same crappy complaint.  Don't like the remote?  I agree about 99%.  But, I have always had one of the cheaper Harmony remotes at hand to program as I see fit.  So, I don't have any of those problems.  It's what I used to add features for the decades I was a DirecTV subscriber [ Now stuck into the garbage heap of AT&T]!  I can replicate any command excepting slip-sliding about.  And add others I find useful.  Especially those I use for app-specific features or the rare times I check local OTA channels.

    watto_cobraAppleExposed
  • Reply 11 of 53
    elijahg said:
    lkrupp said:
    Despite being a pioneer, AppleTV is now a massive underachiever. They’ve been pretty convincingly overtaken by Roku. If it weren’t for my photos and my music, I’d pretty much jettison both mine. The remote is an insufferable joke. 

    Faster processors and Arcade and Jennifer Anniston and such ain’t going to cut it. 
    Could you elaborate? How is the Apple TV an underachiever? What is superior about the Roku other than unit sales? My Apple TV HD does precisely what it was designed to do, that being streaming music and video, providing a plethora of apps from which to choose, games. Back in the day the Windows people used to mock Apple users over how much software was available for Windows compared to OS X, leaving out the fact that most of that Windows software was cheap crap. In my opinion you are dead wrong and the Roku is the streaming world’s Windows, market share and nothing superior about it.
    1. There are no decent games for it, despite it being marketed as a gaming device - amongst its other features. 
    2. The third party apps available are pretty poor, they all seem like The only one I use regularly is Plex, and that's available on pretty much any streaming box.
    3. The remote is utterly abysmal. It's terrible. You don't know what way around it is, and they have tried to overload the buttons with too many things. When one button can do three things, it's time for another button. It's also slippery and fragile.
    4. The UI is crap. It looks nice but that's the extent of it. The menu button sometimes takes you back to the home screen, sometimes back up a level in the app, sometimes shows the top menu. The top menu being invisible most of the time is ridiculous because without prior knowledge you have no idea if there's a menu at all.
    5. Siri is useless. I literally never use it because rather than searching my libraries for things I want to watch, it leans heavily towards suggesting I buy new things in iTunes.
    6. Did I mention how crap the remote is?
    7. It's quite expensive for what you get. 

     If you use siri within the app that you are searching it works correctly. If you are out side of an app or the actual app's search area it will make suggestions to buy.  You can also set the menu button to take you back to the home screen with one press.  I think the functioning of home button and controls are controlled by the app you are using and not the Appletv directly. I also think your 3rd party app comment is a bit broad.. I am  not sure what 3rd party apps you feel are lacking but I have found many things that fit my needs without issue. 

    I personally use Infuse over Plex in my home. Apple tv's ability to transcode 4k HDR video on the fly from external HD's without needing a PC is amazing.

    I can't argue about the remote .. it's insanely sensitive and a bit slippery and easily lost if you aren't setting it directly on the table after each use.  I was able to get both of my 4k's on Letgo unopened for 120.00 each and the other 4th gen I have was a gift so the price point isn't an issue for me personally.
    argonautStrangeDayslolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 53


    Better features at a similar price

    Apple has been getting free advice for years that the secret to selling more devices is to drive selling prices down into loss-leader territory. Analysts began demanding consumers have access to $300 iPhones straight from Apple and not used many years ago, and have repeated the same refrain for iPads, HomePod, and of course, Apple TV.

    Yet, Apple has since proven that it is far more valuable to sell fewer units in the premium tier in phones, tablets, PCs and elsewhere. That indicates that the idea of it selling a super-cheap Apple TV model is very unlikely to ever happen.


    Ok.... MY "free advice":   Bull!
    I have not seen any evidence that "Apple has since proven that it is far more valuable to sell fewer units in the premium tier "
    Further, why does it have to be either / or?  Either very cheap or very expensive.   That's kind of black and white argument is the sign of a weak argument.
    You haven't seen any evidence that Apple is doing far better than everyone else in the phone or tablet or PC markets?

    Samsung sells +300M phones a year compared to Apple's +200M, but Apple earns far more and its profits are far higher and more resilient. When iPhone sales dipped due to the economic downturn in China, Apple maintained things pretty well. Meanwhile Samsung's volumes stayed about the same but its product mix dropped precipitously, and the result was a devastating blow to revenues and profitability. So Samsung is being forced to back out of the high end, hurting things further. 

    The same thing is playing out in every category Apple does business in. 

    There is no "black and white argument" going on, it's just black and white facts. And it's obviously true regardless of whether you "see any evidence" or not.

    While admittedly, Apple transitioning to cheap products ($300 iPhones) would have multiple negative effects, that does not mean that they have to or even should rely only on premium products.   Apple has both the ability to produce moderately priced products (the Xr is an excellent example) as well as the customer base to support it.   Plus, selling last year's products at reduced prices leverages their fixed investments into the development and manufacture of those devices -- which is a win-win for everybody.
    Again, the situation is that Apple was selling iPhones around $650 and pundits where demanding a $300 iPhone. This occured from 2010-2016. 

    Apple responded by making a more expensive Plus in 2014, higher capacity tiers at a premium, and iPhone X at $999. Apple raised its ASP to nearly $800. And that came despite also offering increasingly cheap iPhone options like the SE and older models offered at a discount. 

    You're holding up the $750 XR as an example of "mid priced" but it's higher that any new iPhone Apple was selling during the period of analysts demanding $300 phones. What do you mean by that? The XR is a massively premium priced high end phone, Apple just also offers even more expensive models. 

    Also, Apple has been "selling last year's products at reduced prices" for over a decade now, so what does that even mean? 

    What the article is saying is that Apple's forward strategy involves introducing new models at premium prices with features to match. 

    Samsung tried to do this and failed. Nows it's focused on new $300 Galaxy A models. Every other Android maker is similarly dumping out mostly $250 models, even if they hope or would like to sell some of their iPhone-priced devices, or even much more expensive Fold or diamond bedazzled versions. 

    That said, the current AppleTV seems locked into a no-man's land:  it is moderately to high priced but offers little more functionality than far cheaper competitor's products.   Apple and its customers could benefit by producing a "pro" model AppleTV -- while leaving lower priced model for those who do just fine watching the evening news of Sunday game on their AppleTV.
    That's just not true. As the article points out, the cheap./free things people might want to do with a low priced dongle are now available: you can AirPlay and stream iTunes from many devices now. Apple doesn't need to introduce one and try to sell it at a loss just to have a low end product category. Same with HomePod. Apple doesn't have to make a $30 Siri Dot just because that's what Amazon and Google are doing. They're making zero money and just hoping to create an installed base among affluent users.

    Apple already has that.  
    chaickaargonautwilliamlondonStrangeDayslolliverleavingthebiggronnAppleExposed
  • Reply 13 of 53
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 1,006member
    elijahg said:
    Let's hope the games on Apple Arcade are more serious games like on Mac, Windows and consoles. At the moment they're mostly just crappy childish phone games blown up to TV size. There's a bit of a vicious circle as to why I don't play many AppleTV games: cost of the games themselves with no demo, and requirement for the better games to have a controller. The cost of these combined is a little too much for me.
    Apple initially required all titles to work with the Siri Remote, but this hobbled playback and prevented games developers from setting a minimum controller for good gameplay. The fact that some more complex games require a dedicated controller is not a problem, it's a solution. 

    Are you arguing for stretched up iPhone games, or against higher quality games optimized for a console-type TV experience? Because it makes no sense to complain about both directions at once. 


    I'm not arguing against higher quality games at all, which is why I said "At the moment they're mostly just crappy childish phone games blown up to TV size." I want high quality games, but I also want some kind of demo, time limited or whatever, so I don't fork out £15 or £30 on something crap. 
    Metriacanthosaurusmuthuk_vanalingamwilliamlondonentropysAppleExposed
  • Reply 14 of 53
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 1,006member

    eideard said:
    elijahg said:
    lkrupp said:
    Despite being a pioneer, AppleTV is now a massive underachiever. They’ve been pretty convincingly overtaken by Roku. If it weren’t for my photos and my music, I’d pretty much jettison both mine. The remote is an insufferable joke. 

    Faster processors and Arcade and Jennifer Anniston and such ain’t going to cut it. 
    Could you elaborate? How is the Apple TV an underachiever? What is superior about the Roku other than unit sales? My Apple TV HD does precisely what it was designed to do, that being streaming music and video, providing a plethora of apps from which to choose, games. Back in the day the Windows people used to mock Apple users over how much software was available for Windows compared to OS X, leaving out the fact that most of that Windows software was cheap crap. In my opinion you are dead wrong and the Roku is the streaming world’s Windows, market share and nothing superior about it.
    3 through 6 are the same crappy complaint.  Don't like the remote?  I agree about 99%.  But, I have always had one of the cheaper Harmony remotes at hand to program as I see fit.  So, I don't have any of those problems.  It's what I used to add features for the decades I was a DirecTV subscriber [ Now stuck into the garbage heap of AT&T]!  I can replicate any command excepting slip-sliding about.  And add others I find useful.  Especially those I use for app-specific features or the rare times I check local OTA channels.

    But when you're paying over the odds for a device, you don't then expect to have to go out and buy another controller because the one it comes with is crap. They aren't the same complaint, some aspects of the UI are crap. The UI is not the remote. 
    williamlondon
  • Reply 15 of 53


    Better features at a similar price

    Apple has been getting free advice for years that the secret to selling more devices is to drive selling prices down into loss-leader territory. Analysts began demanding consumers have access to $300 iPhones straight from Apple and not used many years ago, and have repeated the same refrain for iPads, HomePod, and of course, Apple TV.

    Yet, Apple has since proven that it is far more valuable to sell fewer units in the premium tier in phones, tablets, PCs and elsewhere. That indicates that the idea of it selling a super-cheap Apple TV model is very unlikely to ever happen.


    Ok.... MY "free advice":   Bull!
    I have not seen any evidence that "Apple has since proven that it is far more valuable to sell fewer units in the premium tier "
    Further, why does it have to be either / or?  Either very cheap or very expensive.   That's kind of black and white argument is the sign of a weak argument.
    You haven't seen any evidence that Apple is doing far better than everyone else in the phone or tablet or PC markets?

    Samsung sells +300M phones a year compared to Apple's +200M, but Apple earns far more and its profits are far higher and more resilient. When iPhone sales dipped due to the economic downturn in China, Apple maintained things pretty well. Meanwhile Samsung's volumes stayed about the same but its product mix dropped precipitously, and the result was a devastating blow to revenues and profitability. So Samsung is being forced to back out of the high end, hurting things further. 

    The same thing is playing out in every category Apple does business in. 

    There is no "black and white argument" going on, it's just black and white facts. And it's obviously true regardless of whether you "see any evidence" or not.

    While admittedly, Apple transitioning to cheap products ($300 iPhones) would have multiple negative effects, that does not mean that they have to or even should rely only on premium products.   Apple has both the ability to produce moderately priced products (the Xr is an excellent example) as well as the customer base to support it.   Plus, selling last year's products at reduced prices leverages their fixed investments into the development and manufacture of those devices -- which is a win-win for everybody.
    Again, the situation is that Apple was selling iPhones around $650 and pundits where demanding a $300 iPhone. This occured from 2010-2016. 

    Apple responded by making a more expensive Plus in 2014, higher capacity tiers at a premium, and iPhone X at $999. Apple raised its ASP to nearly $800. And that came despite also offering increasingly cheap iPhone options like the SE and older models offered at a discount. 

    You're holding up the $750 XR as an example of "mid priced" but it's higher that any new iPhone Apple was selling during the period of analysts demanding $300 phones. What do you mean by that? The XR is a massively premium priced high end phone, Apple just also offers even more expensive models. 

    Also, Apple has been "selling last year's products at reduced prices" for over a decade now, so what does that even mean? 

    What the article is saying is that Apple's forward strategy involves introducing new models at premium prices with features to match. 

    Samsung tried to do this and failed. Nows it's focused on new $300 Galaxy A models. Every other Android maker is similarly dumping out mostly $250 models, even if they hope or would like to sell some of their iPhone-priced devices, or even much more expensive Fold or diamond bedazzled versions. 

    That said, the current AppleTV seems locked into a no-man's land:  it is moderately to high priced but offers little more functionality than far cheaper competitor's products.   Apple and its customers could benefit by producing a "pro" model AppleTV -- while leaving lower priced model for those who do just fine watching the evening news of Sunday game on their AppleTV.
    That's just not true. As the article points out, the cheap./free things people might want to do with a low priced dongle are now available: you can AirPlay and stream iTunes from many devices now. Apple doesn't need to introduce one and try to sell it at a loss just to have a low end product category. Same with HomePod. Apple doesn't have to make a $30 Siri Dot just because that's what Amazon and Google are doing. They're making zero money and just hoping to create an installed base among affluent users.

    Apple already has that.  

    Apple doesn’t “already have that”. When everyone in my house and my parents house and the house of everyone I know has all Apple products except HomePod, and has dozens of Alexa devices or Sonos/Alexa devices between us...Apple done f’d up. They absolutely should have ensured their place there, and failed. Their arrogance is why they didn’t. And also because Siri is a pathetically inferior product to Alexa, so they couldn’t compete even if they wanted to.
    elijahgmuthuk_vanalingambigtdswilliamlondonAppleExposed
  • Reply 16 of 53
    elijahg said:
    elijahg said:
    Let's hope the games on Apple Arcade are more serious games like on Mac, Windows and consoles. At the moment they're mostly just crappy childish phone games blown up to TV size. There's a bit of a vicious circle as to why I don't play many AppleTV games: cost of the games themselves with no demo, and requirement for the better games to have a controller. The cost of these combined is a little too much for me.
    Apple initially required all titles to work with the Siri Remote, but this hobbled playback and prevented games developers from setting a minimum controller for good gameplay. The fact that some more complex games require a dedicated controller is not a problem, it's a solution. 

    Are you arguing for stretched up iPhone games, or against higher quality games optimized for a console-type TV experience? Because it makes no sense to complain about both directions at once. 


    I'm not arguing against higher quality games at all, which is why I said "At the moment they're mostly just crappy childish phone games blown up to TV size." I want high quality games, but I also want some kind of demo, time limited or whatever, so I don't fork out £15 or £30 on something crap. 
    Both are not necessary. As long as there are actual high quality games, we don’t need demos. But since the entire platform has been plagued by garbage since its inception, I have no reason to believe that’s going to improve.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 17 of 53
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 1,006member


    Better features at a similar price

    Apple has been getting free advice for years that the secret to selling more devices is to drive selling prices down into loss-leader territory. Analysts began demanding consumers have access to $300 iPhones straight from Apple and not used many years ago, and have repeated the same refrain for iPads, HomePod, and of course, Apple TV.

    Yet, Apple has since proven that it is far more valuable to sell fewer units in the premium tier in phones, tablets, PCs and elsewhere. That indicates that the idea of it selling a super-cheap Apple TV model is very unlikely to ever happen.


    Ok.... MY "free advice":   Bull!
    I have not seen any evidence that "Apple has since proven that it is far more valuable to sell fewer units in the premium tier "
    Further, why does it have to be either / or?  Either very cheap or very expensive.   That's kind of black and white argument is the sign of a weak argument.
    You haven't seen any evidence that Apple is doing far better than everyone else in the phone or tablet or PC markets?

    Samsung sells +300M phones a year compared to Apple's +200M, but Apple earns far more and its profits are far higher and more resilient. When iPhone sales dipped due to the economic downturn in China, Apple maintained things pretty well. Meanwhile Samsung's volumes stayed about the same but its product mix dropped precipitously, and the result was a devastating blow to revenues and profitability. So Samsung is being forced to back out of the high end, hurting things further. 

    The same thing is playing out in every category Apple does business in. 

    There is no "black and white argument" going on, it's just black and white facts. And it's obviously true regardless of whether you "see any evidence" or not.

    While admittedly, Apple transitioning to cheap products ($300 iPhones) would have multiple negative effects, that does not mean that they have to or even should rely only on premium products.   Apple has both the ability to produce moderately priced products (the Xr is an excellent example) as well as the customer base to support it.   Plus, selling last year's products at reduced prices leverages their fixed investments into the development and manufacture of those devices -- which is a win-win for everybody.
    Again, the situation is that Apple was selling iPhones around $650 and pundits where demanding a $300 iPhone. This occured from 2010-2016. 

    Apple responded by making a more expensive Plus in 2014, higher capacity tiers at a premium, and iPhone X at $999. Apple raised its ASP to nearly $800. And that came despite also offering increasingly cheap iPhone options like the SE and older models offered at a discount. 

    You're holding up the $750 XR as an example of "mid priced" but it's higher that any new iPhone Apple was selling during the period of analysts demanding $300 phones. What do you mean by that? The XR is a massively premium priced high end phone, Apple just also offers even more expensive models. 

    Also, Apple has been "selling last year's products at reduced prices" for over a decade now, so what does that even mean? 

    What the article is saying is that Apple's forward strategy involves introducing new models at premium prices with features to match. 

    Samsung tried to do this and failed. Nows it's focused on new $300 Galaxy A models. Every other Android maker is similarly dumping out mostly $250 models, even if they hope or would like to sell some of their iPhone-priced devices, or even much more expensive Fold or diamond bedazzled versions. 

    That said, the current AppleTV seems locked into a no-man's land:  it is moderately to high priced but offers little more functionality than far cheaper competitor's products.   Apple and its customers could benefit by producing a "pro" model AppleTV -- while leaving lower priced model for those who do just fine watching the evening news of Sunday game on their AppleTV.
    That's just not true. As the article points out, the cheap./free things people might want to do with a low priced dongle are now available: you can AirPlay and stream iTunes from many devices now. Apple doesn't need to introduce one and try to sell it at a loss just to have a low end product category. Same with HomePod. Apple doesn't have to make a $30 Siri Dot just because that's what Amazon and Google are doing. They're making zero money and just hoping to create an installed base among affluent users.

    Apple already has that.  

    Apple doesn’t “already have that”. When everyone in my house and my parents house and the house of everyone I know has all Apple products except HomePod, and has dozens of Alexa devices or Sonos/Alexa devices between us...Apple done f’d up. They absolutely should have ensured their place there, and failed. Their arrogance is why they didn’t. And also because Siri is a pathetically inferior product to Alexa, so they couldn’t compete even if they wanted to.
    There used to be a "funny things Siri says" blog, when it said funny or weird things. There needs to be a "stupid things Siri says" alternative. I sometimes try to ask HomePod Siri a question in front of friends, and it's embarrassing how wrong it is most of the time. I just don't bother on the AppleTV, its so limited and error-prone it's just not worth it.


  • Reply 18 of 53
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,311member
    elijahg said:
    lkrupp said:
    Despite being a pioneer, AppleTV is now a massive underachiever. They’ve been pretty convincingly overtaken by Roku. If it weren’t for my photos and my music, I’d pretty much jettison both mine. The remote is an insufferable joke. 

    Faster processors and Arcade and Jennifer Anniston and such ain’t going to cut it. 
    Could you elaborate? How is the Apple TV an underachiever? What is superior about the Roku other than unit sales? My Apple TV HD does precisely what it was designed to do, that being streaming music and video, providing a plethora of apps from which to choose, games. Back in the day the Windows people used to mock Apple users over how much software was available for Windows compared to OS X, leaving out the fact that most of that Windows software was cheap crap. In my opinion you are dead wrong and the Roku is the streaming world’s Windows, market share and nothing superior about it.
    1. There are no decent games for it, despite it being marketed as a gaming device - amongst its other features. 
    2. The third party apps available are pretty poor, they all seem like The only one I use regularly is Plex, and that's available on pretty much any streaming box.
    3. The remote is utterly abysmal. It's terrible. You don't know what way around it is, and they have tried to overload the buttons with too many things. When one button can do three things, it's time for another button. It's also slippery and fragile.
    4. The UI is crap. It looks nice but that's the extent of it. The menu button sometimes takes you back to the home screen, sometimes back up a level in the app, sometimes shows the top menu. The top menu being invisible most of the time is ridiculous because without prior knowledge you have no idea if there's a menu at all.
    5. Siri is useless. I literally never use it because rather than searching my libraries for things I want to watch, it leans heavily towards suggesting I buy new things in iTunes.
    6. Did I mention how crap the remote is?
    7. It's quite expensive for what you get. 

    All of which, of course, is your own personal opinion. Many Apple TV users would vehemently disagree, myself included. Is Roku even promoted as a gaming device?
    williamlondonStrangeDayslolliverronnAppleExposed
  • Reply 19 of 53
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 1,006member
    Please do list the decent games you play, and the decent third party apps you use?

    It's a fact that it's slippery and fragile, even if you like to think your experience is fact.

    It's a fact also that menu button sometimes takes you back to the home screen, sometimes back up a level in the app, sometimes shows the top menu. That's bad UI design.

    What do you use Siri on AppleTV for?

    I have no idea if Roku is promoted as a gaming device. Not sure that I ever insinuated that.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 20 of 53
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,895member
    lkrupp said:
    Despite being a pioneer, AppleTV is now a massive underachiever. They’ve been pretty convincingly overtaken by Roku. If it weren’t for my photos and my music, I’d pretty much jettison both mine. The remote is an insufferable joke. 

    Faster processors and Arcade and Jennifer Anniston and such ain’t going to cut it. 
    Could you elaborate? How is the Apple TV an underachiever? What is superior about the Roku other than unit sales? My Apple TV HD does precisely what it was designed to do, that being streaming music and video, providing a plethora of apps from which to choose, games. Back in the day the Windows people used to mock Apple users over how much software was available for Windows compared to OS X, leaving out the fact that most of that Windows software was cheap crap. In my opinion you are dead wrong and the Roku is the streaming world’s Windows, market share and nothing superior about it.
    If we’re talking about gaming here, and we are, then that old bit of nonsense about marketshare not being important dies yet again.

    as we’ve seen (for those who follow it), the XBox has lost a lot of game development as it fell behind the PlayStation in sales. That is the opposite of what happened when the XBox previously moved ahead of the PlayStation. The same thing happened to the Nintendo. Even though it’s not exactly a direct competitor to the others, because of its younger aimed at audience, when it was on top, it sucked developers away from the others. When it declined, developers went away.

    while I agree that the Roku isn’t directly competing in gaming, it’s certainly winning, by a large margin, in the tv streaming wars.

    i know the fanatic devotion to the belief that whether Apple is doing well, or not, doesn’t matter, but it does. The more people who have these boxes, the more people watch their programs on them. It’s not quite true to compare iPhones, iPads, Atv and macs to just a device such as the Roku, or the Amazon Fire Stick, or the Google tv stick. It sounds impressive to do so. But people with those dedicated boxes and sticks do much of their tv and movie viewing on them, and people with Macs, iPads and iPhones do just a small amount of tv (and, of course, movie) viewing on them. Yes, there are exceptions too, but they’re just exceptions.

    i suppose many people here live under the conception that if Apple could quadruple sales, and use of the Atv, Apple would yawn, and say it doesn’t matter. Boy, that would be wrong! They would trumpet that all over.

    the only way the billions they are spending on Tv programming will be successful, is if massive numbers of people watch it regularly. And most people watch Tv not on their phones, but on their TVs.
    muthuk_vanalingamargonautanantksundaramelijahgAppleExposed
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