Apple is considering new connected TV ‘dongle’

Apple has considered selling an low-priced streaming “dongle” that people could plug into the back of their TV sets, similar to Amazon’s Fire Stick or Google’s Chromecast, The Information reports.  The dongle could make Apple’s upcoming video streaming service—which will only be available on Apple devices such as the Apple TV, iPhones and iPads—more widely available.

Apple’s $179 Apple TV box (available here for just $149) has been losing share in the streaming-device market, while a range of cheaper devices made by Roku has been gaining ground. Roku had 37% of the overall market earlier this year, up from 33% in 2016, according to research firm Parks Associates. Apple’s share fell to 15% from 19% two years ago. Nearly 40% of households in the U.S. own a streaming media player, up 6% from the year before, according to Parks Associates.

Dongles, including those made by Amazon, Roku and Google, typically sell for between $25 and $50. Roku also makes boxes that retail for up to $99.

“Apple is going to advance their services much further by doing a $50 dongle,” said Gene Munster, a longtime Apple analyst and managing partner at Loup Ventures.

Amazon’s Fire dongle is now selling for just $39.

Roku, meanwhile, sells its dongle for just $29.88.