“Apple and Amazon are not really true, all-out competitors like Google is with both of them. Apple does not have a general retail operation and Amazon does not make computers or, anymore, phones. But tablets are no longer their only competitive category,” Max Greve writes for Seeking Alpha. “And Amazon, in addition to posing an increasing challenge to iPad, seems to be winning another battle against the largest tech company.”

“Apple recently issued its latest earnings results for the holiday quarter, and overall they were rather to the upside. Apple set new records for sales of iPhones, Macintosh, Services and Apple Watch. Apple stock rose on the announcement,” Greve writes. “A little more surprising was the shortfall in the Other Products category, which fell 8% Y/Y despite including the record-breaking Apple Watch product. The other products in this bundle are Beats headphones, iPods and Apple TVs. With iPods too small to affect the final number much at this point, it was pretty obvious from the moment it was announced that either Beats or Apple TV had hit a real bump in the road.”

“Apple’s CFO later made it official: Apple TV sales had indeed declined, she [sic] said, an unusual setback for an Apple product only one year old,” Greve writes. “If Amazon can persuade 20 million Prime members to subscribe to HBO through them, that’s $1.8 billion per year in distribution fees. And that’s just one channel in a $500 billion market… the Apple TV category is almost as important to the company’s future as iPhone is, in my opinion. Apple’s lumping it in with “Other Products” and its current low revenue base doesn’t change that. The state of Apple’s TV sales means the company may be falling behind in a critical area.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Gee, ya think?

It’s 2017 and Apple TV doesn’t even have 4K capability (which it should have had at launch in 2015). Its remote looks to have been designed by someone with no talent whatsoever for industrial design or usability (Steve Jobs would be appalled; Jony Ive should be embarrassed), Apple’s vaunted TV app doesn’t work with the many popular services, including Amazon Prime (The Grand Tour, etc.), and “single sign on” doesn’t even work with some very major cable providers. It’s a joke. And a bad one, at that.

It’s no wonder the overpriced, underspec’d, poorly-designed Apple TV isn’t selling.