Electronics industry blogger John Gruber claims Apple is selling their Apple TV 4K set-top box at cost, and is taking a loss on the sale of every HomePod smart speaker.
Citing his usual “birdies,” Gruber in an episode of his podcast “The Talk Show” discusses Apple’s premium hardware pricing and says the company “effectively” sells Apple TV 4K at cost. The claim suggests Apple packs $180 worth of components, labor and other expenses in the streaming set-top box.
“They really are like a $180 box. And you think, ‘Wow this is amazing. It has an A10 processor, which we know is super fast and it has crazy good graphics,'” he says.
While there is no way to confirm Gruber’s claims, it is true that Apple’s Apple TV 4K box contains components that are of a much higher grade than products from competitors. In addition to the A10X Fusion chip, the little black box also boasts wireless networking, up to 64GB of storage space, a Siri Remote with Touchpad and microphone, and more.
Gruber also said he has heard similar claims about Apple’s HomePod smart speaker. However, he believes the Cupertino firm actually sells the HomePod at a loss. He also mentions that the firm’s AirPods wireless earbuds could also be sold at cost.
“Why is HomePod so much more expensive than these other speakers you can talk to? Well, HomePod, I actually have reason to believe, Apple actually sells it at a loss,” Gruber says.
The HomePod’s bill of materials are largely unknown, as much of the speaker is made up of customer components. The HomePod also includes features such as dynamic audio processing, beamforming, automatic bass calibration and more.
Gruber believes Apple is using its HomePod and AirPod devices as access points to its highly-profitable services businesses, which includes Apple Music, iTunes, iCloud, and the App Store.