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Smart Devices

Apple engineers fretting over Apple’s upcoming living room hardware products

By Sanuj Bhatia August 9, 2021, 2:05 am
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Apple is reportedly developing new living room hardware products, including a new HomePod-like smart speaker with a display. According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple engineers and internal teams are not-so-optimistic about the company’s focus on living room products due to “cheap alternatives” being available.

In his weekly edition of Power On newsletter, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reported that Apple engineers have expressed concerns about the company’s vision with the product line. They claim that the top management doesn’t have a coherent vision of the product strategy.

Despite introducing a new Apple TV with redesigned Siri remote, Mark Gurman calls the new Apple TV 4K “pointless.” He says that the $99 Apple TV made sense when it first came out, but with thousands of cheaper alternatives from Google, Amazon, and Roku being available in the market, it’s hard to justify the $199 price tag in 2021.

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He says that if Apple wants to be relevant in the smart TV market, it’ll have to “make a cheap “stick” version with 4K or add features that actually make it worthwhile.”

But as of now, it’s hard to believe that will happen soon, especially with Apple engineers telling me that the company doesn’t have a strong living room hardware strategy and that there isn’t much internal optimism.

Mark reiterates that the company is developing a new combined “Apple TV, HomePod and FaceTime camera home hub” for release in 2023. He says that if the product doesn’t sell well or fails to justify the price, it’ll be good for Apple to put Apple TV on the same shelf as iPod HiFi and the high-end HomePod.

Apple introduced the new Apple TV 4K earlier this year. Though new features like Siri remote, color calibration, faster chipset, and integration with Apple Fitness+ are good, it has failed to take off. Apple even shelved its own high-end HomePod earlier this year to focus on lower-priced HomePod mini.

What are your thoughts on Apple’s upcoming living room products? Do you think a device with FaceTime, HomePod, and integrated Apple TV would sell well? Let us know in the comments section below!

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