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By Jason Snell for Macworld
Imagining the next Apple TV
The new $149 Apple TV arrives in stores Friday, and the first reviews are out. After many years of speculation, Apple has finally released an Apple TV that can connect to an app store and run third-party apps, rather than the more limited Apple-supplied content channels that have been on the Apple TV since its very first generation.
But while the reviews of the new Apple TV are generous—Brian X. Chen of The New York Times seemed especially surprised by how much he liked it—many of them noted that Apple faces some stiff competition in this market. Roku and Amazon both make boxes that are similar to the Apple TV, but priced less, and Google’s Chromecast and Amazon Fire Stick are even tinier and cheaper.
The competition is so tough, in fact, that I suspect it’s why Apple is keeping the third-generation Apple TV in its price list at $69.
This week on the Clockwise podcast, when I was talking to Slovenian tech journalist Anze Tomic about how an app-oriented Apple TV will fare in a world where the smartphone app reigns supreme, it struck me that perhaps Apple’s not done with the Apple TV product line yet. Surely the old model, offering none of the new features, can’t stick around forever.