What’s the future of Apple’s set-top box? Apple TV Air? Apple TV Pro?

This Apple TV Air mock-up is courtesy of Curved.

Yesterday, Apple announced the next generation of the Apple TV 4K with a lower price tag (starting at US$129). However, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo thinks the next version of the set-top box will have a price tag under $100.

In a tweet, he has this to say:  A new Apple TV 4K with a price drop (starting from $129) reflects the expected improved cost structure. It can help shipments, but the drop should not be enough. The sub-$100 price should be the sweet spot for Apple TV, so I expect the next-gen will be more affordable.

Some folks have called for Apple to release a low-cost TV dongle device as a more inexpensive alternative to the ‌Apple TV‌. (Apple TV Air, perhaps?) The project was driven by Tim Twerdahl, an Apple video and audio marketing executive, who argued that a low-cost TV device would make it more affordable for users to access Apple TV+ based on his experience overseeing similar projects at Netflix and Amazon.

In addition to an “Apple TV Air,” might we see an Apple TV Pro? Apple has filed for a patent (number 201210227277) for a “generic streaming media device configured as a set-top box.” The tech giant may be eyeing a future Apple TV set-top box that would replace a cable box. Or perhaps one with a stronger gaming focus.

Then there are rumors that Apple is working on a new HomePod product that combines a speaker, Apple TV functions, and a FaceTime camera. Apple has filed for a patent (number 20220042676) for an “electronic device with visual feedback” that hints at a HomePod with a built-in display. 

Apple’s Macs, iPhones, iPads, AirPods, and Apple Watches come in a variety of standard, pro, max, and ultra versions. Why not the Apple TV?

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.

1 Comment

  • Ever since Apple came out with the M1, I’ve been wondering why they don’t put a customized version inside the Apple TV, giving a direct competitor to Xbox, PS, and Nintendo, all while simultaneously encouraging gaming development on iOS/macOS.

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