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You are here: Home / Business Briefing / Roku Ultra Player To Retail for $100
Look Out Apple: New Roku Ultra Player To Retail for Only $100
Look Out Apple: New Roku Ultra Player To Retail for Only $100
By Michael Liedtke Like this on Facebook Tweet this Link thison Linkedin Link this on Google Plus
PUBLISHED:
OCTOBER
02
2017
Emboldened by a successful IPO, Roku is reducing the price on the next generation of its best video streaming player in an attempt to fend off competitive threats from Apple and Amazon.

The latest Roku Ultra player [pictured above] announced Monday will sell for $100. That's a 23 percent decrease from the Roku Ultra released last year, a device that had been selling for $130 until a recent clearance sale.

Roku is also upgrading an array of other streaming devices, priced from $29 to $70, less than week after completing an initial public offering of stock that raised $219 million for the Los Gatos, California, company. In vote of confidence, Roku's stock has already nearly doubled from its IPO price of $14.

Roku vs. Apple

Even with that strong start on Wall Street, Roku still only has a market value of $2.5 billion, making it a relative David battling two Goliaths in Apple ($800 billion market value) and Amazon ($462 billion). Roku also still hasn't turned a profit.

But the price cut on the Roku Ultra could make it tougher for Apple to win over video streaming fans with its just released player featuring super-sharp "4K" video -- a step up from standard high definition. The new Apple TV player costs almost $180, up from almost $150 for an earlier model without 4K.

The Roku Ultra also plays 4K video and offers more streaming channels than Apple TV, but it isn't compatible with Apple's own video store or Apple's music subscription service.

Apple is counting on those services to justify its higher priced Apple TV for the tens of millions of consumers hooked on its iPhones, iPads and Mac computers.

Roku vs. the Rest

The Roku Ultra is still more expensive than the next generation of Amazon's Fire TV streaming player. Amazon last week announced that the latest Fire TV model with 4K video will sell for $70, down from $100 previously.

Meanwhile, computer chip maker Nvidia is trying to make its own splash with a Shield streaming player that it rolled out two years ago.

The next generation of the Shield player comes equipped with Google's digital assistant to find and navigate through video with voice commands while also providing on-screen answers to many questions. It also sells for almost $180.

Apple's digital assistant, Siri, can be used to control its streaming player while Amazon's assistant, Alexa, works with Fire TV.

Although it is much smaller than its rivals, Roku is the leading seller of video streaming players in the U.S. with a 37 percent share of the market, according to the research firm Park Associates.

Amazon has been gaining ground with a 24 percent share, up from 16 percent last year. Apple's share stands at 15 percent, which also trails Google's Chromecast streaming device at 18 percent.

There's still ample room for growth. Park Associates estimates that two-thirds of U.S. households still don't have a video streaming player.

© 2017 Associated Press under contract with NewsEdge/Acquire Media. All rights reserved.

Image credit: Product shots by Roku.

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