The last two Fridays have seen Apple do away with two products. First, it was iMac Pro going the way of the dodo. Last week, Apple said it was time to say goodbye to HomePod. Do two Fridays make a pattern? What will Apple kill off this week?
There's no guarantee that Apple will be rid of a product this week of course, but if it is clearing the decks for whatever reason and I was working on Apple TV, I think I'd be looking over my shoulder.
Some rumors have Apple getting ready to refresh Apple TV as soon as next week. But what will that actually look like? Plenty of us have been expecting Apple to turn Apple TV into some sort of streaming stick like Amazon's Fire Stick. Maybe Google's Chromecast? Whichever approach Apple takes, will there be an Apple TV as we know it today as of next week? And if it survives Friday, will it survive the supposed March 23 event?
Apple TV isn't the only product Apple could be rid of, though. The current Mac Pro is surely on its last legs, although that's more likely to see some sort of Apple silicon-powered refresh than Death's scythe.
Apple Watch Series 3 has Apple Watch SE looking over it, so that's a product that could die and not be missed by too many people. iPad mini is long overdue a refresh, could it be put out of its misery? That's another product that has been rumored to have a refresh in the works, but remember – rumors don't mean products.
Or Apple could just let this Friday come and go without killing anything at all. But where's the fun in that?
Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.
I would guess ATV is potentially eol. I’d like to think there’s a device waiting in the wings to take both HomePod and ATV’s place - a home cinema sound bar ATV mashup would hit the mark, perhaps even and actual TV set... but have been down this speculative road way too many times. The ATV is largely being replaced by in tv software, in spite of concerns about privacy on third party TVs, and frankly covers most of its functions: airplay, ATV+ HomeKit even Apple Music as apps. I think Apple are in serious danger of throwing the baby out with the bath water if they dump all their best hardware from the past 5 years. There’s a lot going for having a separate plug in ATV, but can’t see how you can improve the ATV much in its current form and they don’t have much of a history of blending hardware. Starting to look like a cull, frankly...
Are you just Chicken Little today? Casting such anxiety in people is irresponsible. I have 6+ TVs in the house. One of them, the newest one, about a month old, has Apple TV built in. None of the others are ripe for replacement, and I sure wouldn't just to get ATV built in. I can't imagine many would. That would stall Apple's push into subscriber services, if you can't get anything to use them on reasonably. I'd be excited for an Apple TV stick. I'd expect it to be cheaper and portable for travel. You know the hotel TV won't have ATV on it. Personally I really don't like 'smart' TVs. Every interface is different and has their own agenda about what to put front and center. Give me a big 'monitor' with a tuner (OTA or cable input), and more than one HDMI input that makes it easy to connect what I want and switch to it. I don't want my Apple TV, Roku, or FireTV updates subject to the whims of LG, Samsung and Visio.
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