The new Apple TV 4K is a minor iterative update over the 2021 Apple TV 4K. The most significant difference between the two devices is the price. The new, base model Apple TV 4K is $50, or 28%, cheaper than last year’s entry-level model, which retailed for $179.

Apple also integrated the A15 Bionic chip, the same chip found in the iPhone 13 lineup and in the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus, into the new Apple TV 4K, claiming that the CPU is 50% faster and the GPU 30% faster, while being 30% more efficient over the previous generation. As a result of the efficiency gains, the new Apple TV 4K has done away with the internal fan to make the device more compact and lightweight, which Apple claims will contribute to a 25% reduction in carbon footprint compared to last year’s model.

Apple TV lineup lacks differentiation

Compared to rival offerings, Apple’s lineup is lacking in diversification as it does not have its own competitively priced streaming stick, which would better compete with rival’s streaming sticks. By not having a competitively priced streaming stick, Apple is overlooking the budget-conscious consumer base and those looking for a more affordable way of building deeper integration across their existing Apple devices.

Apple would therefore stand to benefit from differentiating its Apple TV lineup by releasing its own competitively priced streaming stick to better compete with rival streaming sticks. It could then position the Apple TV 4K set-top box as direct competition to the Roku Ultra, which retails for $99.99, and the Fire TV Cube, which retails for $139.99.

Smart TVs are a threat

Aside from the high price limiting adoption rate, Smart TVs are also a headwind for Apple. With Smart TVs becoming increasingly smarter and coming pre-loaded with thousands of apps, and streaming platforms such as Roku, Google, and Amazon licensing their software to TV manufacturers, streaming devices are gradually losing market share. This will prove a challenge in Apple’s smart home push.

A noteworthy redaction in the entry model Apple TV 4K is the support for the Thread networking protocol. The Thread networking protocol creates a mesh network designed to improve connectivity between low power IoT devices by reducing latency among the devices, increasing the longevity of the devices, and extending the coverage area within which the devices can stay connected. It could be the case that Apple omitted support for the protocol in its entry-level model to encourage customers to purchase the more expensive higher-end model or to keep component costs down. But by doing so, Apple has potentially dampened its prospects in becoming customers’ platform of choice for their smart home hub.

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