Apple might be losing its grip on this living room. That’s not to say it ever had a stranglehold over our television sets, but when the Apple TV launched, there wasn’t much else like it. Now every vendor on the planet is selling a set-top box or a dongle with the same functionality, often at a cheaper price point.
So will the $30 discount on the Apple TV announced this Monday be enough to keep Apple in the conversation?
In a new report, IHS senior analyst Paul Erickson notes that the market for media devices below $99 has become increasingly crowded in recent years.
“Today, the market features a broad span of products including the $25 Chromecast HDMI stick, sub-$50 full-featured HDMI sticks from Amazon and Roku, and a range of more powerful streaming boxes in the $50-99 price span from Roku, Google, Amazon, and several niche competitors,” writes Erickson.
“Apple TV’s sales growth has slowed over the past few years as the level of competition within this market has accelerated. The price cut to $69 is likely in part a response to this change in competitive dynamics and the growing success of one particular competitor with a significantly lower-priced product: Google.”
Even the exclusive deal with HBO, bringing the new HBO Now streaming service to Apple TV, is only seen as a “short-term advantage” for Apple. If Apple wants to truly compete with the sleeker, more functional devices that have launched since the Apple TV’s last hardware refresh three years ago, it might be time for a new Apple TV.