APPLE is considering launching a low-cost TV-streaming dongle that would rival the Amazon Fire Stick, a new report has claimed.
The unnamed device would plug into the back of television sets and let customers stream media content, with insiders suggesting that this would help it popularise a new streaming service it’s rumoured to be launching next year.
Apple is in fact no stranger to online TV, having first launched its Apple TV media console in 2007.
However, while the Apple TV box lets its owners stream content from Netflix and other popular online services, anonymous sources within the tech company have told The Information website that it plans to launch a more affordable ‘dongle’ (i.e. a USB stick that fits into the back of your TV).
The report claims that such a cheaper device would help Apple attract more customers to its Netflix-rivalling TV and film streaming service, which industry experts claim will be launching in late 2019.
And while Apple has declined to comment to the Sun on the rumours, the launch of a TV dongle would make perfect sense in this context, since Apple TV boxes currently cost anything from £149 to £199 (for the Ultra HD version).
But while Apple certainly has the cash reserves, the branding and the industry clout to make its own online streaming service work, it would be facing stiff competition from the likes of Amazon.
For example, Amazon sold half a million Fire TV and Fire Stick devices on Amazon Prime Day (in 2016) alone, and while it hasn’t been transparent with its more recent sales figures, industry estimates have put the total units sold at over 65 million to date.
And there’s also Roku, which according to market research company Conviva has a 22% share of all viewing hours watched on all streaming devices, the highest enjoyed by any company (even higher than Amazon).
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Still, Apple has reportedly been busy lining up its own exclusive TV programmes in order to take on Roku and Amazon, so it will be prepared to battle such rivals as and when its rumoured streaming service (and possible dongle) are launched.
And given the company’s reputation for innovation and quality, it would be unwise to bet too heavily against it.
Are you excited by the possibility of an Apple streaming service? Let us know in the comments.
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