Should Apple TV Be Worried about the New Fire TV?

ApplevsFireTVThe new Fire TV has been announced and is taking direct aim at the Apple TV. How do they stack up? Should Apple be concerned about the new Fire TV?

4K

Surprisingly the Apple TV did not include 4K. Because 4K TVs are dropping quickly in price and more streaming services are adding 4K video it is shocking that Apple neglected to add 4K to this new Apple TV. This is especially concerning considering Apple is well known for waiting a few years to refresh the Apple TV, which means a year from now Apple could be the only major set-top box on the market without 4K because Roku is expected to release a 4K model in the next year.

Winner: Fire TV

Dedicated Gaming Controller

The Apple TV supports gaming and has a motion-sensitive remote, but the Fire TV has a dedicated gaming controller sold by Amazon. For gaming with the Apple TV you will have to use the remote that comes with the Apple TV.

While it may seem like a small difference, having a dedicated gaming controller allows game developers to create or port more complicated games. This move leaves Apple TV in a weaker position when compared to the Fire TV for gaming.

Winner: Fire TV

Personal Assistant

Both the Fire TV and the Apple TV have voice-based personal assistants to tell you the score of your favorite team, weather, traffic, etc. Yet Apple holds a slight lead in this department because its personal assistant Siri has more years of development behind it. The Apple TV is expected also to have better voice search when it comes to asking questions like Find me the episode of Friends with a particular guest star.

However, the Fire TV has a larger library of apps that support the voice search when looking up content.

Winner: Apple TV

Storage

The Apple TV comes in 32GB ($149) or 64GB ($199) dwarfing the Fire TV’s 8GB of internal storage. However, the new Fire TV has both a MicroSD slot that can support up to 128GB and a USB port for external hard drives, giving the Fire TV the leg up.

If you want to access a lot of stored content at only the fraction of the price of the Apple TV check out the Fire TV.

Winner: Fire TV

Conclusion

The Apple TV has something to be concerned about with the Fire TV. The new Fire TV matches the new Apple TV on almost every point. Even the fact that iTunes is only on the Apple TV does not give it a huge advantage because Amazon Instant has an even larger line up of shows with the Amazon Originals.

Many of the defects could be addressed on both sides. Amazon has long had voice search on their boxes and improving its ability to handle more complicated questions is just an issue of programing. Apple TVs limitation with gaming is something that a change in policy could address.

Yes Apple TV has two major marks against it that cannot be fixed unless they release a new box. The lack of 4K will be a bigger issue in years to come as will the lack of external storage, leaving the Fire TV as the clear winner when you compare features of the two devices.

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