While we praised the latest Apple TV for its plethora of apps, we were disappointed by its lack of 4K support and exclusive content. Apple appears to be aware of this deficit, and is reportedly working to prioritize new content and features to bring the Apple TV closer to parity with Amazon Fire devices.
According to a Bloomberg report, Apple poached the former head of Amazon's Fire TV division, Timothy D. Twerdahl, away from the online streaming and shopping powerhouse. Twerdahl's a streaming veteran, with prior experience as an executive at Netflix and as vice president of consumer devices at Roku.
Twerdahl managed the Fire TV business (which includes the Fire Stick and Fire TV box) since 2013, so it's fair to think he'll bring a fountain of knowledge about the industry to Apple. There is one caveat about Apple hiring Twerdahl, as his focus won't be entirely on product, as he'll be the vice president of Apple TV marketing.
Just as important, though, is that Pete Distad, the Apple exec who formerly held that position, is reportedly moving to a role where he will be "negotiating media content deals." Distad came to Apple after working at Hulu as the senior vice president of content distribution, so this role will allow Apple to potentially secure deals for the kinds of original Apple shows that the company has been rumored to be working on.
We'd love it if Twerdahl's influence could bring 4K video to the Apple TV, as it's one of the box's biggest flaws and a major reason to choose an Amazon or Roku box. The most recent generation of Apple's long-running streaming box launched in 2015, so now seems like as good a time as ever for a major refresh.