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Report: Apple abandoned plans for a low-cost TV dongle

13 Sep 2021 | Rasmus Larsen |

Apple has shelved plans to launch a low-cost Apple TV dongle, according to a report by The Information, which also claims that Apple TV+ will double its output of shows and movies next year.

Apple TV dongle nixed

The Information reported in 2018 that Apple was developing a low-cost dongle as a cheaper alternative to the more powerful Apple TV box. The project has since been shelved. - "But two longtime Apple marketing executives, Greg Joswiak and Phil Schiller, overruled Twerdahl, said the person familiar with the discussions. They didn’t want Apple getting into the business of making cheap, low-margin devices, and they were concerned that putting Apple’s brand on them would tarnish its reputation for building premium products. In the end, Apple decided it was comfortable developing an app for Apple TV+ that worked on hardware products from Samsung, Roku, Amazon and others, even if they were relatively inexpensive," the report said adding that Twerdahl recently left the company. Besides its streaming capabilities, the Apple TV box offers Apple Arcade games, HomeKit features, wireless audio output capabilities (HomePod), and more. Also read: Review: Apple TV 4K (2021) Amazon, Roku, and Google already offer low-cost TV dongles – or sticks – with features like 4K and HDR support, in addition to their own or partners' more capable streaming boxes. These low-cost dongles are not powerful enough to enable on-device gaming but Amazon and Google are taking a different approach with game streaming.

Apple TV

First launched in 2007, Apple TV remains a box

Apple TV+ to double output

The report also said that Apple TV+ is looking to double its output on shows and movies next year, with the goal of releasing at least one new title per week. Apple TV+ currently has around 40 million subscribers, according to the report which cites a person with knowledge of the matter. Approximately half of the 40 million pay for the service while the other half are on the free trial. - "While Apple has looked at buying studios or rights to sports, it has never been a serious contender, according to people familiar with the discussions. Although it held discussions with MGM about acquiring the studio, Apple never offered a specific bid for it (Amazon has since agreed to pay $8.5 billion for MGM). In discussions with the NFL, Apple’s bid for rights to the league’s Sunday Ticket football package was around $900 million per year, less than the $1.5 billion per year deal DirecTV had agreed to for the package years before (bidding for the current deal is ongoing)." Apple has apparently also held discussions with at least one TV manufacturer regarding putting an Apple TV+ button on the manufacturer's remote control. It currently has a button on the Roku remote control. - Source: The Information via 9to5Mac



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