Apple’s living room hardware strategy remains poorly defined and lacks a coherent vision, with engineers allegedly pessimistic about the product line, according to a new report.
This year the Apple TV got an iterative update with a redesigned Siri Remote, while the HomePod was discontinued. Apple is now said to be developing a combined HomePod-Apple TV device with a built-in screen and FaceTime camera.
In his latest “Power On” newsletter, however, Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman says that Apple engineers have personally expressed concerns to him about the direction of Apple’s living room hardware strategy.
Despite the obvious benefits of an Apple TV for users invested in Apple’s ecosystem, Gurman opines that the set-top box is largely failing in a market dominated by cheaper alternatives from the likes of Amazon and Roku, and that Apple needs to introduce a more competitively priced stick-like Apple TV or offer more features if it wants to stay relevant in the living room.
However, “as of now, it’s hard to believe that will happen soon,” claims Gurman, “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 points out that the Apple TV software has gone through more interface redesigns that perhaps any other Apple product, and yet still it has failed to crack the market. Meanwhile, Apple’s combined Apple TV-HomePod device remains on schedule for release around 2023.
If that doesn’t go well, Gurman suggests “it might be time for Apple to consider putting the Apple TV on the same shelf as other living room products like the iPod HiFi and high-end HomePod.”