The Apple TV app, much like Apple Music, isn’t limited to a few, expensive devices. Roku users will now be able to use the Apple TV app and will soon have access to Apple TV+.
By Chand Bellur
October 16, 2019 at 11:51 a.m. PDT
Apple TV Expands to Roku and Other Non-Apple Devices
Apple’s new, aggressive strategy seeks to end the notion of a walled garden. With few notable exceptions, Apple services have only worked on Apple devices. The Cupertino company will sometimes open a service to other devices, if it proves lucrative. This was the case with iTunes and the iPod, which first only worked with Apple’s then-new iMac, but eventually operated with Windows PCs.
Resuming this strategy with Apple Music, which was made available to Android devices, the company again realized the benefit of opening services to the rest of the world. No matter how hard they try, Android will probably dominate the smartphone market. Apple finally decided to capitalize on this reality, instead of brood over it.
The new Apple TV app seems to indicate the company’s frustration with the Apple TV device. Despite revamping the platform in 2015, adding an App Store, Siri Remote and other advanced features, it was too late and too much. Apple TV devices feature industry-leading hardware, however, consumers want inexpensive streaming dongles. After all, most households still need a cable box, so another $150 to $200 for an Apple TV is a lot to ask, when competing devices sell for $30.
The Apple TV device never really caught on. A pivot to TV as a service became necessary. Apple decoupled their TV service from the device, making it available as the Apple TV app. They continue to expand compatibility, bringing Apple TV to Samsung Smart TVs, and now Roku devices. It’s likely that Apple TV will be available for Android devices soon.
Apple TV App Boosts Roku Stock
The announcement of Apple TV coming to Roku sent shares soaring. The stock went up about 15 points since the announcement. It signals that Roku is a key player in the streaming media industry. Apple capitulated, admitting that if they want to be a serious player in TV, they can’t accomplish it with their own streaming device.
Apple TV, the device, is well-made, but too expensive. At the end of the day, people don’t want to play video games on a TV device. They just want a inexpensive way to binge-watch their favorite shows. Apple should seriously consider either making an inexpensive TV dongle or licensing AirPlay technology to more smart TVs. Either strategy would likely boost device sales as well as subscription revenues.
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