From "Apple TV Is Missing the Moment" posted Tuesday as a Bloomberg Technology newsletter:
The current iteration of Apple's television set-top product has roots in the mid-2010s, when the urgent priority for Apple in its post-Steve Jobs era was boosting its presence in the living room. That brought us a revamped Apple TV in 2015 that included an App Store, a remote with touch controls, gaming functionality and deep integration with the Apple ecosystem.
Now, half a decade later, the product is facing intense competition... There's also the issue of price. The latest 4K Apple TV costs $180. By contrast, Amazon.com Inc.'s TV stick (a device that plugs directly into your HDMI port) costs just $50. And Amazon sells a full-fledged box for $120 that lets you bark voice commands from across the room. Meanwhile, Roku’s priciest player is currently $80, and Google recently launched a well-received new Chromecast for $50.
One differentiator for the Apple TV might have been exclusive access to content, but in recent years the industry has shifted to a model where everyone's content is available everywhere...
For next year, Apple is planning an upgraded box with a stronger gaming focus, an updated remote and a new processor. Those changes will fix some of the Apple TV box’s issues, but the product will need to take another big leap—akin to its 2015 changes—to remain competitive in the long term. Either that or it needs to get a lot cheaper
My take: No question a better/cheaper Apple TV missed this year's biggest gifting opportunity. But as a long-time user I have to say that if the new box isn't a lot better and/or cheaper it might not be worth releasing.