Apple TV Review: AAPL Faces Smaller, Cheaper Competitors Like Chromecast and Roku
Apple TV typically receives critical praise for its user interface, constantly growing library of services and integration with AAPL devices. Its price tag — now $99 after starting out at $299 — has also been a big part of growing sales.
But the competition is undercutting Apple TV in a big way.
There’s a push to get smaller and cheaper. It started with Google’s Chromecast, a video streamer packed into an HDMI dongle the size of thumb drive which sells for $35. Roku, a long-time maker of set-top boxes followed suit with the $50 Streaming Stick.
Suddenly the praise about user interface and seamless integration found in the typical Apple TV review is being weighed against substantial price differences and a form factor that seems almost antiquated.
Apple TV may offer a more polished user experience (and still retains advantages for iOS device owners), but AAPL is under pressure. Earlier attempts at streaming set-top boxes seemed half-hearted but the Apple TV now seems expensive, over-sized and its lack of support for common video formats like AVI and WMV are tougher to explain away.