Imagining the next Apple TV

The new $149 Apple TV arrives in stores Friday, and the first reviews are out. After many years of speculation, Apple has finally released an Apple TV that can connect to an app store and run third-party apps, rather than the more limited Apple-supplied content channels that have been on the Apple TV since its very first generation.

But while the reviews of the new Apple TV are generous–Brian X. Chen of The New York Times seemed especially surprised by how much he liked it–many of them noted that Apple faces some stiff competition in this market. Roku and Amazon both make boxes that are similar to the Apple TV, but priced less, and Google’s Chromecast and Amazon Fire Stick are even tinier and cheaper.

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