Apple engineers lack optimism about the Apple TV strategy, claims report

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited August 8
Apple seemingly doesn't have any major plans to shake up its living room strategy with the Apple TV in the near future, a report claims, with engineers allegedly pessimistic about the product line.




In the last year, Apple has made many major changes to its product lines, though it's arguable that its work concerning the living room is relatively lacking. The main change to the Apple TV was to update the Siri Remote to a more user-friendly version, while the full-size HomePod was discontinued.

While the changes may prompt a pessimistic view on the future of the products by observers, it seems that there's little confidence in the company internally as well. In the latest "Power On" newsletter for Bloomberg, Mark Gurman's conversations with Apple engineers indicates there's little to be excited about Apple's living room strategy for the coming year at least.

Musing about how the Apple TV is now "pointless" as a high-priced set-top box in a market dominated by Amazon and Roku, Gurman proposes Apple could create an even cheaper stick-like Apple TV, or introduce new functionality to warrant the existing pricing.

"As of now, it's hard to believe that will happen soon," Gurman states, "especially with Apple engineers telling me that the company doesn't have a strong living room hardware strategy and that there isn't much internal optimism."

Gurman also references a report from April claiming Apple was working on an evolved version of the Apple TV that incorporated a HomePod-style speaker and a camera, creating a device capable of serving music and video, as well as handling video calls.

"It's developing a combined Apple TV, HomePod, and FaceTime camera home hub device for release around 2023," he offers.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 63
    I can’t believe Apple hasn’t made a state of the art home theater sound bar with Apple TV built in. It seems to perfectly align with their love of high quality sound and their movie/tv ambitions. And it could be a premium priced smart product sitting at the center of the living room. Someone is asleep at the wheel.
    caladanianhucom2000Scot1repressthispatchythepiratelibertyandfreeBeatsravnorodomapplguymattinoz
  • Reply 2 of 63
    tjwolftjwolf Posts: 406member
    Apple’s core clientele are middle to upper income folks.  These folks are looking to simplify, not further clutter their living rooms.  That’s why, I think, Apple TV was never going to be a big seller.  It’s not  about it’s price - it’s about clutter and wiring.  As much as I’ve ridiculed Gene Munster for his years’ long prediction of an impending actual Apple TV set, I think that would be the only way Apple could have succeeded in the living room.  Apple should have sourced some 65”+ OLE panels from LG, added a thin & sexy frame to it, and built a user friendly UI on top.  Add some HomePod like built-in speakers & Homkit hub capability (maybe even throw in a wi-fi router a la AirPort) and Apple would have had a huge success.
    williamlondonScot1repressthistwokatmewdavidlewis54dysamoriascstrrfwatto_cobrapscooter63
  • Reply 3 of 63
    LOL...what "strategy" do Amazon and Roku have for hardware? They're selling iterations of the same tech they've always sold. 
    llamawilliamlondonGeorgeBMacrepressthistwokatmewlkruppmike1applguydysamoriaStrangeDays
  • Reply 4 of 63
    Is it worth the price upgrading from a Apple TV 3 to the 4K or going for the Google Chromecast? 
    repressthisscstrrf
  • Reply 5 of 63
    It’s astonishing how Apple drives accessories (HomePods, airports, screens, tv,…) against the wall. 

    They seem not to believe their own ambitions and abilities – to be able to deliver a coherent digital product line for both home and work. 
    elijahgpatchythepirateBeatsurahara
  • Reply 6 of 63
    LOL...what "strategy" do Amazon and Roku have for hardware? They're selling iterations of the same tech they've always sold. 
    Do you think a strategy of selling 4K stick for $40 pretty much justifies itself? Everyone knows about the Apple tax and many are willing to pay it, but Apple charges $179. The remote sounds great but it's hard to pass up $40 for the same basic functions. 

    I'm interested in the Apple TV to play Arcade games but Apple headlined the remote and mentions gaming as a bullet point, so wondering how much if a quality experience gaming is on a day to day level. I'm already wondering how my Xbox controller will take to being paired in the same room as the Xbox which will turn on every time I try to pair the controller with another device. And I've done some research and read the Apple controller doesn't have some features that using an Xbox controller does. So, is the gaming worth it. 
    chemengin1watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 63
    So they don’t seem to have a strategy but we will see new evolved combined hardware in the future. But roku and Google present a better strategy? Strange “clickbait” article
    twokatmewwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 63
    iOS_Guy80iOS_Guy80 Posts: 551member
    Is it worth the price upgrading from a Apple TV 3 to the 4K or going for the Google Chromecast? 
     If you use other Apple products yes.
    pulseimagesrepressthisBeatsscstrrfwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 63
    So they don’t seem to have a strategy but we will see new evolved combined hardware in the future. […]
    Yes, weird sort of contradictory news from Gurman. He suggests a 2023 release date for the rumored tv soundbar + camera HomeKit hub device (also a Bloomberg story, so this could be just a sort of tease, to keep that story alive), in the midst of telling us about some Apple engineers who are, apparently, depressed because Apple won’t let them design a low-end device or something like that (I haven’t read the newsletter). But there are a lot of questions unanswered about such a device, like would it support Arcade, or Fitness? Any device Apple releases has to support their full range of services, I would think. 
    StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 63
    LOL...what "strategy" do Amazon and Roku have for hardware? They're selling iterations of the same tech they've always sold. 
    Do you think a strategy of selling 4K stick for $40 pretty much justifies itself? Everyone knows about the Apple tax and many are willing to pay it, but Apple charges $179. The remote sounds great but it's hard to pass up $40 for the same basic functions. 

    I'm interested in the Apple TV to play Arcade games but Apple headlined the remote and mentions gaming as a bullet point, so wondering how much if a quality experience gaming is on a day to day level. I'm already wondering how my Xbox controller will take to being paired in the same room as the Xbox which will turn on every time I try to pair the controller with another device. And I've done some research and read the Apple controller doesn't have some features that using an Xbox controller does. So, is the gaming worth it. 
    Gurman is emphasizing engineering/hardware strategy. He dismisses the latest ATV 4K hardware update as minor beyond the remote, but what have Amazon/Roku done? I haven't heard of any big hardware breakthroughs on their end.

    Per gaming on the latest ATV 4K, it will mostly depend on the Apple Arcade library versus your own gaming preferences in terms of the "worth it" (if you're only buying it to play games). There are lists online that have all the controller supported games that appear on Arcade, so if you're not seeing a sizable chunk of those that you're interested in then you might want to pass. The gaming experience itself will be good. Games all run smoothly in 4K on the A12. 
    edited August 8 scstrrfwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 63
    DovalDoval Posts: 40member
    Same engineers that complain about wanting to stay home forever?

    Apple TV is great. Me and many friends have renewed after trial.

    beautifully crafted original programming 
    TeeJoroniscstrrfwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 63
    DovalDoval Posts: 40member
    iOS_Guy80 said:
    Is it worth the price upgrading from a Apple TV 3 to the 4K or going for the Google Chromecast? 
     If you use other Apple products yes.
    Have you used Chromecast? Chrome cast works fine but it’s like a Porsche vs Kia , your choice 

    4K Apple TV is a no brainer if you have 4K TV
    repressthisTeeJoronipulseimagesBeatsStrangeDaysscstrrfwatto_cobrapscooter63
  • Reply 13 of 63
    If they added a small display and restored the optical out jack, it would be a great device to support Airplay streaming through your stereo system, and would also make it the best device for streaming movies to a projector, which is currently pretty awkward because you need a way to get the audio from the HDMI signal going to the projector. The display wouldn’t need to be anything special, just big enough to show basic info like track selection without turning on your TV/projector. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 63
    dcgoodcgoo Posts: 249member
    I’m in the camp of AppleTV being positively brilliant, and I had the 2017 model before. I have not had a cable tv subscription for more than 20 years. 

    HDMI 2.1 and eARC really cleaned up my living room. I used to have a sound bar w sub woofer hooked to the TV. Now I can use my HomePod pair for all audio, including from the TV receiver, (via the return channel) though I don’t use the TV receiver all that much. Instead I bought a TabloTV OTA DVR which has a client for the AppleTV.  Everything operates from the AppleTV remote. 
    edited August 8 TeeJoroniDovaldewmeStrangeDaysscstrrfwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 63
    Some of the HomeKit API restrictions, etc. are super bizarre … think of AppleTV apps — any super cool ones you can think of? Plop.
    elijahg
  • Reply 16 of 63
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,680member
    As people migrate away from cable to streaming, Apple TV -- at least a good, quality Apple TV -- is and will be needed more than ever.
    In addition, Apple could (and I think should) also produce a Dolby Atmos system that ties into it.   They should also be looking at gaming consoles to challenge XBox and Playstation.

    But, Apple seems to be befuddled by the home:
    -- Their Homekit doesn't seem to have much interest or direction from management
    -- Their Apple TV doesn't seem to get much interest or direction either.
    -- Then instead of expanding and enhancing Homepod, they killed it.

    Apple has so much cash that they are literally giving it away.  But they won't invest in products to enhance the home despite so much potential there.

    But it's also contradictory:  They are investing Billions into Apple TV+   But, what are people supposed to watch it on?  Comcast cable?
    Beatsmike54scstrrfwatto_cobrapscooter63
  • Reply 17 of 63
    crowleycrowley Posts: 9,079member
    As people migrate away from cable to streaming, Apple TV -- at least a good, quality Apple TV -- is and will be needed more than ever.
    In addition, Apple could (and I think should) also produce a Dolby Atmos system that ties into it.   They should also be looking at gaming consoles to challenge XBox and Playstation.

    But, Apple seems to be befuddled by the home:
    -- Their Homekit doesn't seem to have much interest or direction from management
    -- Their Apple TV doesn't seem to get much interest or direction either.
    -- Then instead of expanding and enhancing Homepod, they killed it.

    Apple has so much cash that they are literally giving it away.  But they won't invest in products to enhance the home despite so much potential there.

    But it's also contradictory:  They are investing Billions into Apple TV+   But, what are people supposed to watch it on?  Comcast cable?
    Lots of TVs now come with an TV app built in.  And there's a PlayStation app for TV.  And a fair few Mac and iOS devices out there.
    edited August 8 StrangeDaysscstrrf
  • Reply 18 of 63
    iadlibiadlib Posts: 84member
    The Apple TV has potential but honestly, there hasn’t been anything exciting about it as far back as memory serves. It sure as heck doesn’t mandate costing twice or more than competing products. Plus the new remote kinda stinks. 
    Beatselijahgnimpeachabletech
  • Reply 19 of 63


    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1361939-REG/apple_mqd22ll_a_tv_4k_32gb.html


    Apple TV 4K 32GB (1st gen) brand new $129 

    Supports:

    4K HDR Dolby Vision

    Dolby Atmos

    Bluetooth 5 audio for Headphones and speakers (with audio sharing to AirPods and Beats)

    Airplay 2 (to HomePods, Sonos, Airplay receivers and sound bars)

    App Store for expansion and function

    Airplay/mirroring for Apple devices (or 3rd party software for other OSes). 

    Apple Watch with 3rd party and Apple Fitness syncing.

    Apple Music with lyrics

    Podcasts


    This is an entertainment hub! 


    $49 for what a compromised experience you wish could do any of this?

    rayboBeatschasmscstrrfwatto_cobranimpeachabletech
  • Reply 20 of 63
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 1,808member
    Britbox, Crave and the other services we subscribe to are available on the Roku built into my TV. For the little that isn't available, I can just plug in my iPad. Really I have no need for an ATV.
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