Apple undercuts the Fire TV Cube with a new cheaper Apple TV 4K

Apple made a surprise announcement this morning with the reveal of a pair of new 2022 Apple TV 4K models. The new Apple TV gains more power, more storage, more video capabilities, and, most surprisingly of all, a huge price drop from $179 to $129. That, for the first time, makes Apple’s streaming device less expensive than Amazon’s flagship streaming device, the Fire TV Cube.

The new Apple TV looks a lot like the old model from the outside, apart from some port changes that I’ll get into in just a bit. The included Siri Remote is also nearly identical to the one released last year, except the new remote for 2022 now charges using a USB-C port instead of a lightning port. Apple is also continuing to offer two models with different storage options, but springing for the more expensive version now gets you more than just double the storage.

The 2022 Apple TV 4K for $129 now comes with a whopping 64GB of internal storage, which is twice what the old model started with. That makes the paltry 16GB storage in the Fire TV Cube and Nvidia Shield TV Pro laughable. There is also a 128GB model of the new Apple TV 4K for $149. Unlike past models, however, Apple has decided to remove Ethernet from the less expensive model, so you need to pay more if you want the gigabit Ethernet port in the $149 model. Both models continue to feature WiFi 6 (802.11ax), so the new Fire TV Cube remains the only streaming device to feature WiFi 6E. The $149 Apple TV model also comes with a Thread radio to serve as a smart home hub, which is missing from the cheaper model.

As for video capabilities, the new Apple TV 4K adds support for HDR10+ for the first time. Of course, it continues to support Dolby Vision and all popular audio formats, like Dolby Atmos. Apple has made no mention of support for AV1 video decoding, but I suspect the new Apple TV is plenty powerful enough to support AV1 software decoding via its CPU, which is now bumped up to an A15 Bionic, without needing dedicated AV1 hardware decoding. That new CPU is said to be 50% more powerful than the A12 Bionic in the previous model and the new GPU is said to be 30% more powerful, although it’s unknown if the Apple TV is using the A15 with 4 GPU cores, found in older Apple devices, or the A15 with 5 GPU cores that is in the latest iPhone 14. Either way, the A15 makes the new Apple TV easily the most powerful streaming device on the market in raw performance.

The new 2022 Apple TV 4K is available to pre-order now for $129, for the 64GB model without Ethernet or a Thread radio, or for $149 for the 128GB model with Gigabit Ethernet and a Thread radio.

  1. clocks says:

    Wow. I think this may be the first ATV I buy and try.

    • BobR says:

      I first bought the ATV during this summer’s Prime day sale (32GB model). I only have minor complaints with it so I picked up 2 more on sale recently, but haven’t opened them pending new device announcements. Not having ethernet for a $129 device is unacceptable, but I think I will try the $149 device whenever it’s on sale and return the 2 unopened current models if there are no further issues with the new devices.

    • Vu says:

      Same old ten year old ugly interface. It can’t even control my tv or SOUNDBAR. The Fire TV Cube can control all of my devices with one remote. I’m an Apple fanboy but Apple TV sucks.

      • James Hatfield says:

        are you high? the amazon firetv os ; well it’s UI is so awful i get nasuea when trying to navigate its infinite windows and scrolling. they need to fire the UI designer immed.

  2. Greg says:

    Dishes it support Unknown Sources and Debugging.
    And dose it have 1Gb Ethernet connection or just 10/100 Ethernet Connection like The Fire Cube. Don’t Forget that With Apple Products you Have to Buy Most of your Apps. That Are Free on Fire Cube and Android/Google Streaming Devices. Etc.

    • Gabriel Leontine says:

      this is an urban legend, no popular streaming app is paid on Apple TV, it’s still free to download like on any other platform.

      • Ari says:

        That’s very true. I haven’t paid for any app on Apple TV. You used to be able to jailbreak Amazon Fire Stick, but I think they’ve made that difficult to impossible now. There’s really no app I’ve put on my Cube that I can’t put on ATV for free too.

        • clocks says:

          The one app that would give me pause about switching over the apple tv, is SmartTubeNext, or other YT alternatives. I don’t believe there is a way to get those onto apple.

          • Greg says:

            Yes what I have heard of Apple tv that dose not have Developer Opinion You Only can use Apple Products and Not any Other Apps like Smart Next tube. Or add From Google play store or have Downloader or Similar products.

          • clark says:

            This is exactly the reason I stay with fire tv now. It’s the least expensive way to get SmartTubeNext. That and Plex are all I use.

          • Ari says:

            I’ve never heard of SmartTubeNext. I’ll have to check it out. I have Plex on ATV (and Cube and Nvidia). Lately I’ve been mainly using Nvidia, occasionally ATV, but may as well get rid of Cube and Chromecast. I used to be heavily into Amazon ecosystem, but am no longer upgrading their products. Using Google smart speakers, which I like better than Alexa. Replaced Recast with HDHomeRun and will have to replace CloudCam soon as Amazon is no longer supporting that as of December either. Mixed as far as Apple products go. Never used their smart speaker as it generally comes in last with reviews. Currently using Android phone (Samsung Galaxy Flip Z), but have used iPhone in the past (either is fine/no real preference), definitely prefer Apple over PC for computer although I have both (PC for Plex server) and have iPad Pro which is what I use mainly instead of computer now. Hated PC laptop I had and gave to parents, but just don’t see need for laptop form at all. Have Mac Mini (replaced 10+ year old iMac that still works) for when I need actual computer. Historically I loved using desktop (iMac), but the large screen iPad is now what I use 90+% of the time and travel with. Definitely prefer Apple for tablet. There are definitely Apple fanboys and Apple haters, I’m neither.

        • Greg says:

          It is basically the sane process as on a Samsung phone to enable Developers option.
          I am just thinking about getting it just so I can get there Dolby Atmos music app to listen too as it is the only way Apart from using your iPhone and ear buds to listen to Dolby Atmos music. Through my receiver.

        • Jeff says:

          It’s not jailbreaking but side loading apps from different sources say GitHub apkmirror and other sites. I use Opera web browser and have unknown sources on for the app that I am using. Very easy to do and install various apps, just to try something I installed Google earth app and it worked other than zooming. Amazon fixed the app issue with icons not displayed correctly.

    • Tom Sides says:

      “Don’t forget that with Apple products you have to buy most of your apps that are free on Fire cube” I have yet to come across any app on Apple TV that I have to buy when it comes free on Amazon Fire Cube. I have both. Maybe you’re confused with Apple’s terminology for downloading apps…any app you download from the Apple App Store is considered to be a “purchase” regardless of whether or not you pay for it or download it for free.

  3. Russ says:

    Samsung should make a cheap streamer, they have all the hardware and software built, it’s in their phones. A streamer with a nice clean simple interface.

    • Ari says:

      I currently have the previous Apple TV 4K model as well as Amazon Cube, Nvidia Shield Pro and Chromecast with Google TV. Both the ATV and Nvidia Shield are connected via Ethernet as both are gigabit capable. In fact, I get nearly a gigabyte upload/download with speed test on the ATV which is greater than my Google Webpass service I pay for (according to my Eero router I’m actually getting 1.1 gigabytes). I get much better upload/download using WiFi with the Cube due to the limitation of their Ethernet connection. Any free apps I’ve gotten on the Cube, Nvidia and Chromecast have also been free on ATV.

  4. Russ says:

    I had to look that SOC up. It has 15 billion transistors on it. Is that crazy or what?

  5. Craig S. says:

    Not interested…until it’s a $99 (or less)stick.

    Elias? When’s the next deeply discounted lightning deals on TV’s gonna be? Black Friday? Cyber-Monday? Guestimate?

    • Possibly Black Friday, but Amazon didn’t do it for previous Black Fridays, so it may just be something they save for big “Prime-only” sales.

      • Ari says:

        Not buying any of the new products right now. I’m nutty about buying electronics so it will take will power. As mentioned before, I have ATV, Cube, Nvidia and Chromecast with Google TV. I also recently purchased a Beelink SEI8 Mini PC 8th gen Intel i5-8279U(Up to 4.1GHz),16GB RAM 500G NVMe M.2 SSD to replace the Nvidia Shield Pro as Plex/Channels server (literally just came in/not set up yet). There is no logical reason for me to buy another client device. Used to like to play with jail breaking Fire Stick, but never really did anything with it other than as a play thing. If I were to eventually get another client device, I’d be most tempted by the new ATV (with Ethernet, not the WiFi only) as I’m sure it’s gigabit like the older one I have. Would definitely be tempted if new Nvidia Shield we’re released (probably wouldn’t be able to resist). No more Amazon; lost faith in them as they drop products on me (CloudCam and Recast). Fool me twice! All of the companies are “spying” (Amazon, Google and to some degree even Apple). It’s not something I loose sleep over, but I do regret that I have Eero Pro 6e router which I think is letting Amazon in way too much. Purchased it when it went on substantial sale on Prime Day this past summer. I may try and sell it and get something else. Dong Ngo (of Dong Knows Tech, formally of CNet) will not even try it out due to his serious privacy concerns. Google Nest routers are probably nearly as bad in that same way.

  6. Jeff says:

    I have the ATV 4k 64gig. But it’s a closed system for app install. I have the new cube on order and am excited about its capabilities with apps. Apple has its own niche market. The cube is more open with what you can do.

  7. Norm says:

    Who cares? It’s garbage apple products!

  8. EmoBrianEno says:

    The new Apple TV remote also has built in ‘Find My’ connectivity.

    • EmoBrianEno says:

      Scratch that, i think i was literally dreaming about that. Now i’m back to a reality where a super slim remote that costs $60 getting lost in the abyss is a daily routine. No thanks Apple.

  9. Kao says:

    Yawn new chip Whoopi doo dah. I rarely even use my Apple TV but when I do it’s not night and day with other products. My Amazon Cube 2019 and Nvidia Shield 2019 is way better devices heck even my Roku Ultra 2021 is better. The video quality is trash on Apple compared to my other devices. I just not liking the video quality I have everything yet to the recommended setting for the device and for my TV too and still just doesn’t look good. So no upgrade for my I’ll still with the 2021 Apple TV I have.

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