The Apple TV revolutionized the smart home world by making it easy to access streaming apps on any TV. However, the market quickly caught up to it with competitors like Google, Amazon, and Roku rolling out devices of their own. Roku has dominated the space since then and the Apple TV’s popularity has decreased in recent years.
To combat that trend, Apple is reportedly working on a way to make its flagship streaming product more attractive. According to a Bloomberg report and an anonymous source within Apple, the company wants to add smart speaker and camera functions to the Apple TV. It’s an interesting idea, but that alone won’t be enough to fix Apple’s shortcomings in the smart home sector.
It’s impossible to deny Apple’s prowess in the tech space. As one of the largest companies in the world, it has revolutionized consumer devices with the iPhone and Mac. However, its offerings in the smart home space are paltry. Aside from the HomePod and HomePod Mini, Apple hasn’t found a major smart home success since the original Apple TV.
Perhaps it believes that turning back the clock and returning to its roots will help it gain traction in the space once again.
According to Bloomberg, the new Apple TV would be a sort of hybrid that also includes the features from the company’s HomePod. This means it would feature a built-in speaker. Current Apple TV models allow users to listen to music, but only through their TV’s speakers. Since most built-in TV speakers are poor quality, that isn’t something many people do.
With an upgraded speaker in the upcoming Apple TV, consumers would be able to enjoy their music without turning on the screen.
Meanwhile, Bloomberg also notes that Apple wants to equip its new Apple TV with a camera to give it videoconference functionality. It’s unclear how that would work since the device would also need to have a display of some sort. Perhaps it would end up looking similar to something like Google’s Nest Hub or the Amazon Show.
While the idea of an Apple TV-HomePod hybrid is intriguing, it isn’t enough to make Apple a serious contender in the smart home world. As noted, the company’s offerings in the space are lacking and have been for some time.
It will be interesting to see how consumers react to the upcoming Apple TV model and its built-in features. Perhaps the additional functionality will make it a more attractive option than a Roku or Chromecast.
However, price is another thing to consider. Aside from making popular consumer devices, Apple is known for overpricing things. If the next Apple TV comes with a price tag that’s significantly higher than those of its competitors, it could discourage consumers from giving it a chance.
Still, it’s nice to see that Apple is trying to turn things around in the smart home space. The company’s cult-like following gives it a chance in any sector it tries to enter. However, the next-gen Apple TV won’t be enough to make it a serious challenger to the likes of Roku, Google, and Amazon.