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Inevitably, the reality of the Apple TV 4K 2021 is nowhere near exciting as what might have been. Some of the rumors circulated by Bloomberg suggested that Apple was gearing up to release a media device that combined the streaming smarts of Apple TV with built-in speakers (like the Fire TV Cube) and even a smart display screen.
This chimera of smart home and streaming functionality could have actually caused some disruption, but the Apple TV 4K 2021 is really just the Apple TV 4K 2017 with a bit of spit and polish. After four years of waiting, that’s a bit disappointing.
Apple has trailed behind much of the competition in the home streamer space, with it being four years now since the launch of the Apple TV 4K in 2017. The range was well due a refresh, then, and Apple likely couldn’t wait any longer to keep its foot in the door, or otherwise discontinue the older, ageing models before it had a successor.
The Apple TV line hasn’t increased in price with this new model, matching the RRP of the 2017’s 32GB / 64GB iterations – but a $179 / £169 / AU$279 starting price is still a big ask when there are such cheap streaming devices around, and the Apple TV 4K 2021 isn’t doing enough to justify tripling or quadrupling your home streamer cost.
But the demands and expectations of home streaming are changing, and other companies – like Amazon, with its speaker-streamer hybrid Fire TV Cube, or any other host of manufacturers offering affordable 4K streaming sticks – have been only so happy to adapt to them.
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Watch the new Apple TV 4K REVEAL! (full presentation)
During its 2021 Spring Loaded event, Apple introduced the new Apple TV 4K updated with an A12 Bionic chip and a redesigned Siri remote.