Apple plotting TV streaming stick to battle Chromecast and Fire TV, report

Apple is reportedly preparing to launch a streaming stick to help spread its original content service, according to reports.

The Information says Apple is mulling a ‘downmarket’ rival to the Chromecast and Amazon Fire Stick to complement the more expensive Apple TV set-top box (via 9to5Mac).

Given the Apple TV sells for a minimum of $149/£149, it creates a significant barrier to entry compared to the likes of the Fire TV Stick, which is available for around a fifth of that cost on a regular basis. It’s also worth considering the number of Black Friday offerings on Fire TV, Chromecast and Roku products, Apple may be running out of living rooms to conquer at this stage.

Related: Apple TV Subscription Service

Rumours suggest that Apple will offer its original content free to iPhone, Mac, iPad and Apple TV owners, but those playing content through a television set face a heavy premium to get on board.

Apple has a number of premium-style shows in production, according to a CNBC report in October. According to the sources, Apple is targeting PG-rated shows that will appeal to wider audiences for its free original content offering. According to a Wall Street Journal report, Apple is already developing at least 24 original TV shows at a budget of over $1 billion, so it appears there’ll be plenty of shows to choose from.

The report on Wednesday says Apple is only ‘considering’ the streaming stick hardware, so it’s far from confirmed at this stage. Apple considers plenty of stuff that never makes it to market, judging by its patent filings.

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However, Apple certainly has work to do if it wants to begin dominating the largest screen in the room. Given the company’s crowing focus on services, it’s likely that Apple would be open to a lower-cost TV stick to bring in subscribers to its forthcoming streaming service.

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