Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) is reportedly on the cusp of releasing the fourth version of its Apple TV. The move is notable considering the increasing popularity of third-party streaming devices like Apple's TV when compared with the standard set-top boxes typically issued by pay-TV operators.
Speaking to anonymous Apple sources, 9to5Mac said the Apple TV 4 will launch in October with Siri voice navigation, an app store and a software developer kit. The gadget will reportedly be much more expensive than other, similar devices, with a price tag as high as $199.
Notably, the current Apple TV 3 model will have its price reduced to $69, which is competitive with Apple's chief rival in the connected TV device market, Roku. Apple's third-generation player will also be compatible with Apple's upcoming pay-TV service, the blog said.
According to recent usage data compiled by FreeWheel, Apple TV is the most used streaming device in U.S. connected homes, handling 39 percent of all video streaming, compared with 32 percent for Roku.
Further, Apple TV has become an increasingly important platform for pay-TV operators, which are not only still trying to ramp up TV Everywhere services on devices like Apple TV, but are also launching OTT products like Sling TV on streaming gadgets.
Moreover, new FCC rules could potentially make Apple TV and other streaming devices even more important in the pay-TV ecosystem. The FCC's Downloadable Security Technology Advisory Committee is currently preparing rules geared toward opening the set-top box market to more companies and devices, potentially paving the way for Apple to directly support pay-TV services in the Apple TV.
The FCC's DSTAC follows on the agency's CableCard effort, which was also intended to spur a market for retail set-tops that could be used by consumers in conjunction with their pay-TV subscriptions.
- read this 9to5Mac story
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