Apple TV loyalists will suffer a case of sticker shock in October, when the Cupertino-based consumer computing giant comes out with its new set-top internet device that will reportedly cost more than twice what the current Apple TV model will set you back — and more that twice the price of competing internet TV devices.
The Apple TV 3 is now priced at $69. Other set top boxes and “dongle” devices for streaming live and on-demand TV programming range from a low of $35 for the Google Chromecast, to $99.99 for the latest Roku 3 model.
But the new Apple TV 4 will sell for up to $199, according to a report on the Apple rumor site 9 to 5 Mac.
The site reports that Apple execs still have not settled on a price point and it remains possible that the new device could go for “only” $149 — still 50 percent higher than the Roku 3, and a bump-up of $80 from the Apple TV 3.
Surely the new Apple TV comes loaded with new channels ands snazzy new features for all of that extra money?
Well, yes and no. But mostly no.
The long-rumored Apple internet TV streaming service will not be ready to include with the new Apple TV 4, according to the reports. Instead, the service, designed as an alternative to a cable TV subscription, will not be set to debut until sometime in 2016 and will cost $40 per month to subscribe.
While it remains unclear which channels will come included with the inevitable Apple TV streaming service, competitor Sling TV includes about 20 channels for $20 per month.
However, when the new Apple streaming service becomes available, according to the rumors, it will also be compatible with the Apple TV 3, which Apple plans to keep on the market at its current price of $69.
The new Apple TV 4, according to 9 to 5 Mac, will include Siri functionality — though presumably the majority of Apple TV users would also own an iPhone, which also comes with Siri functions. The new Apple set-top box will also come with an “App Store,” allowing users to add new channels to the Apple TV menu, a function not available on the Apple TV 3, which limits users to the factory pre-set channel selection.
The Roku streaming device has always included a “Channel Store,” as well as the ability for users to add custom private channels, capabilities that the Apple TV 3 does not include. The Apple TV 4 will also include developers’ tools, allowing programmers to create entirely new channels.
[Image: Apple Publicity Photo]