Apple is gearing up for the release of a much cheaper streaming dongle than its current Apple TV device, according to The Information. This device, said to be similar to Google's entry-level Chromecast dongles, will coincide with the release of Apple's streaming service.
Apple launching its own video streaming platform to compete with the likes of Netflix, Amazon Video, and Hulu has been swirling around for quite some time now, so that really isn't a surprise. However, the news of this said dongle gives those plans a new context — Apple, it seems, is bullish on getting its original content to as many eyes as possible, especially to those who don't want to splurge hundreds of bucks to purchase an Apple TV.
Apple Streaming Dongle
Apple's dongle would bring the price down significantly from the cost of the $180 Apple TV set-top box, according to the report. It's not certain if it'll be more expensive or cheaper than the cheapest Chromecast or Amazon Fire TV Stick, however. In any case, it should put the device within reach of people who have no plans on getting an Apple TV anytime soon.
It's also not clear whether this dongle has made it past the brainstorming stage, but it would definitely make sense if Apple is indeed exploring other options to provide people an easier entrance to its own streaming service — and keeping price barrier down is one of the best ways it can introduce its platform to as many people as possible.
Is Apple TV Failing?
Apple TV, it should be noted, is losing ground in the streaming device competition in recent years, in large part because Google, Amazon, and even Roku offer more-than-capable devices often at a fraction of the cost. These companies have streaming sticks between $25 and $50. Apple has no device within that range. As a result, Apple TV is down to just 15 percent of the market share, per research from Parks Associates.
To solve this, Apple has also reportedly explored the idea of launching its own app for smart TVs that would make its original content available, although it's not certain if the Cupertino brand is going to push through with such plans.
In any case, Apple seems adamant to get its streaming service on the eyes of as many people as possible. In fact, it's reportedly investing a billion dollars on original content, with the likes of Oprah Winfrey onboard.