Will the next Apple TV come in under the $100 barrier?

Will we ever get a sub-$100 Apple TV? A reliable analyst suspects that the next Apple TV refresh might cost less than the current $129 Apple TV 4K.

Perspective view of the third-generation Apple TV 4K with its Siri Remote
To drop below $100, the Apple TV should become an HDMI dongle | Image: Apple
  • What’s happening? Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is back at it with a new prediction calling for a sub-$100 Apple TV.
  • Why care? Because even at $129, the current model still isn’t competitive enough with inexpensive HDMI sticks.
  • What to do? If you’re interested in a more affordable Apple TV priced below $100, you’ll probably need to wait until the next update arrives in about 1-2 years.

Ming-Chi Kuo calls for a cheaper, sub-$100 Apple TV

Following the announcement of the refreshed Apple TV 4K model, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo on Twitter floated the idea of an even cheaper model potentially coming with the next update to the Apple TV. Read: How to watch Apple Music TV

“A new Apple TV 4K with a price drop (starting from $129) reflects the expected improved cost structure,” he writes. In the same breath, Kuo cautions that although the $129/$149 Apple TV 4K will increase sales, the price drop still isn’t enough.

“The sub-$100 price should be the sweet spot for Apple TV, so I expect the next generation will be more affordable,” he continues pretty cryptically.

We share Kuo’s belief that an even more affordable Apple TV is in the cards.

Our take: How about an Apple TV HDMI dongle?

For starters, Kuo is the most reliable Apple analyst. While not 100 percent reliable, betting against Kuo isn’t the smartest idea. For example, the analyst did correctly predict the cheaper $129 Apple TV 4K that was announced yesterday, meaning he could be very well right on point with his “sub-$100 Apple TV” prediction.

We feel the Apple TV is a tad too expensive for what it does.

But we also understand that Apple won’t sacrifice its fat margins just to make the Apple TV more accessible to more people. We don’t think Apple should try to make the current box more affordable because in that case we could easily be ended up with a sub-$100 Apple TV sold without a remote and a power cable.

What Apple could do instead is a small stick that you could plug into an HDMI port on your TV. Amazon has offered such a product for years now, it’s called the Fire Stick and is probably the most popular sub-$50 streaming device.

Considering that people rarely use their Apple TV for gaming, a Fire Stick-like HDMI dongle from Apple that ran everything the current model does except games could be the right answer. Read: How to find a lost Apple device via the Apple TV

When will the next Apple TV arrive?

Kuo doesn’t say when the next model might drop though. Unlike the iPhone and other Apple gadgets updated yearly, the Apple TV lacks a clear roadmap.

The original model, originally announced as the “iTV,” dates back to 2006. It took four years to deliver a successor in 2010. The third and fourth-generation models were launched in 2012 and 2015, respectively. Those are all non-4K models.

When it comes to the Apple TV 4K, the first model dropped in 2017.

The initial Apple TV 4K was then followed by the second-generation Apple TV 4K and the third-generation model, in 2021 and 2022, respectively.

Launches of the last two models do appear to suggest that Apple has decided to refresh the device once per year going forward, but it remains to be seen whether that’s the case. Read: How to record WhatsApp calls on your iPhone