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The new Apple TV 4K brings more power to the set-top box, and Apple thinks it offers a great value for customers, especially those embedded in the Apple ecosystem.
Industry watchers expect Apple to compete with Google TV or Roku by introducing a streaming stick in the sub $100 range, but Apple continues to ignore that market. The updated Apple TV 4K starts at $179, and the company sees that as a value purchase considering its functionality.
In an interview with CNN Underscored, Apple's vice president of product marketing for Home and Audio, Tim Twerdahl, spoke about the Apple TV 4K and what it brings to the market. He describes the set-top box as an experience that increases in value for those deeply ingrained in Apple's ecosystem.
"Delivering that best viewing experience at the TV, is really what Apple TV is all about," said Twerdahl. "We want to make sure that whatever specs you care about, to get the absolute best picture quality to have that most cinematic experience to really enjoy all the amazing content that's out there."
The updated Apple TV 4K has an A12 processor for high frame rate HDR and improved gaming. Content will play more smoothly with a more realistic picture, and WiFi 6 means better streaming quality thanks to a faster internet connection.
These features tie in with Apple's multiple service offerings. Apple TV+ shows can take advantage of high frame rate HDR, Apple Arcade games will perform better with the new processor, and Apple Fitness+ will run into fewer connection issues thanks to improved WiFi.
"We think there's a tremendous amount of value in this $179," Twerdahl said. "When we talk about the best way to watch TV, I sort of think about it at three levels."
- Hardware specs to deliver the absolute best quality experience
- Content people want that is easy to discover via UI and Siri
- Ecosystem experience improves with multiple Apple devices
Twerdahl believes that Apple is the only company that can deliver such an integrated experience of hardware, software, and technology. Add in the benefits of Apple's services, and you have a set-top box that far outweighs its value.
When asked about making a more affordable Apple TV, Twerdahl offered some insight into Apple's thinking.
"To us, we want to make sure that we are always thinking about the value side of the equation, not just the price point, right?" Twerdhal asked. "And if we continue to bring outsized value as I believe we do, that's what's most important for us."
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