“The 4th-generation Apple TV seems out of sync with the rest of the market. The competition from Amazon, Google and Roku have already adopted 4K — and the higher resolution TV sets are starting to take over the market — so Apple’s solution seems old fashioned,” Gene Steinberg writes for The Tech Night Owl. “Why didn’t the Apple TV offer 4K support? Did Apple hold off the new model pending the launch of the subscription TV service and, when it failed to gel, rushed out a new Apple TV as a fallback?”

MacDailyNews Take: That might explain why it was so woefully incomplete at launch that customers complained of paying to be Apple’s beta testers.

Yesterday, The New York Times reported that Apple’s Eddy Cue “dismissed suggestions… that Apple wanted to compete with cable and satellite companies by bundling a group of video channels and selling subscriptions to its users. ‘We are happy doing the things we are doing today,’ he said.”

MacDailyNews Take: Cue now dismisses skinny bundles, because he couldn’t get the deals done.

What you’re doing today, Eddy, is antiquated, half-baked (and that’s being kind), overpriced, underspec’d crap that’s not worthy of the Apple logo. You’re happy with that, you’re deeply confused.

“I thought it might be updated in 2016 to include 4K and HDR, but no. Is Apple waiting to upgrade iTunes to offer 4K content? Are we waiting for the December 2017 quarter for a product refresh?” Steinberg writes. “Clearly Apple supports it, since recent iPhones can record Ultra HD video, and don’t forget the 27-inch iMac with 5K Retina display and the troubled LG UltraFine 5K display.”

“With Siri support and regular tvOS updates, it does seem that Apple is showing some level of commitment to Apple TV. But from what I’ve read and seen about the fourth-generation model, it appears to be an interim solution. It has potential, but Apple needs to do more,” Steinberg writes. “As it stands, Apple’s plans to conquer the living room aren’t really jelling. Apple TV isn’t quite ready. Apple is probably not going to do subscription TV now or ever. Even though there may be some original content, it won’t be near as extensive as Netflix. That doesn’t seem a direction the company wants to take. So we’re just going to see some level of baby steps for a while.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Beyond the pathetic inability to get content deals signed (while Google and others manage to do it), the #1 thing that Apple TV broadcasts to the world today is Apple’s embarrassing lack of vision.

Maybe now, with some new blood, we’ll finally see an end to baby steps, pulling the string, bad design*, aimlessness, and the rest of the incompetence drowning Apple TV.

*With the Siri Remote, users can’t tell which end is up in a darkened room due to uniform rectangular shape. The remote is still too small, so it gets lost easily. All buttons are the same size and similarly smooth. Only the Siri button attempts to be different, but the slightness of its concavity is too subtle to matter; a raised dot on the button would have been much easier for users to feel. The tactile difference between the bottom of the remote vs. the upper Glass Touch surface is too subtle as well; this also leads to not being able to tell which end is up. For an example of how to improve the design: A remote with a simple wedge shape (slightly thicker in depth at the bottom vs. the top), as opposed to a uniform slab, would instantly communicated the proper orientation to the user.

Apple hires Amazon’s Fire TV head to run Apple TV business – February 8, 2017
Apple’s new TV app shows just how painfully behind Apple is – December 14, 2016
Apple’s Eddy Cue: Nope, we don’t want to be Netflix – October 20, 2016
Google signs up CBS for planned web TV service to debut in early 2017; close to deal with 21st Century Fox – October 20, 2016
Apple’s Eddy Cue: Nope, we don’t want to be Netflix – October 20, 2016
Apple’s Eddy Cue alienated cable providers and networks with an assertive negotiating style – report – July 28, 2016
Here comes á la carte programming – without Apple – July 13, 2016
Apple TV 4 is a beta product and, if you bought one, you’re an unpaid beta tester – November 5, 2015