5 min read

Apple TV vs Fire Stick: what should you buy?

Written by
Pavlo Fedykovych
Published on
December 14, 2023
May 29, 2024

When it comes to the streaming device, it may be hard to determine which one is better. Apple TV vs Fire Stick battle is in the details and user needs. Both gadgets have great performance and are up to date with all the latest streaming advancements. But which one works for you?

When it comes to digital signage, there’s a big Apple TV advantage. It doesn’t mean that Fire Stick is not capable of signage technology, it just means that Apple’s gadget is doing better in that domain. 

Anyway, let’s take a closer look at both devices to determine who’s the winner in the Fire Stick vs Apple TV battle.

What devices are we comparing?

It may be quite confusing to keep track of the versions of both Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV devices. That’s why for the sake of this article we take the latest editions of both. 

By Fire TV vs Apple TV, we mean Fire TV Stick 4K Max vs Apple TV 4K (3rd generation).

A little side note about Apple TV devices. There’s often confusion between Apple TV (the device) and Apple TV+ (the streaming service). The rule to distinguish between the two is simple, if there’s a “+” in the name it’s about the streaming service with original programming like Ted Lasso, The Morning Show, and See.

Size and weight

When it comes to size and looks, it’s up to your preferences. A Fire TV stick is, well, a stick. Quite literally. Its dimensions are 108 mm x 30 mm x 14 mm so it’s quite petite. 

On the other hand, Apple TV has a box-like shape and measures 3.66 inches (93 mm) - 3.66 inches (93 mm) - 1.2 inches (31 mm). 

Both are looking slick and stylish. But, in our opinion, the futuristic cubic look gives Apple TV a win in the design department.

The software

Amazon Fire TV Stick comes with Android 11 and its very own streaming-oriented mobile-first Fire OS 8. It supports such Android features as High Efficiency Image File Format (HEIF), Dark mode, One-time permissions, Sharing improvements, and Device auto backups. 

However, it seems that Amazon is shifting away from Android for the following editions of their streaming device. There were reports that the company was developing its own Linux-based Smart TV OS.

In the case of Apple TV, no change from their tvOS is in sight. Currently, the devices run on the 17.2 version of this operating system and it fares amazingly. Packed with countless perks for Apple ecosystem users it has been called a “mature operating system” in reviews.

Storage capacity

Here’s where Apple TV’s primacy stars showing. Amazon Fire TV Stick has a modest storage of 8 GB and 16 GB (depending on the version you buy). Apple’s device comes off as a winner here with a whopping 64 GB (in Wi-Fi) and 128 GB (Wi-Fi + Ethernet version). 

And while home users would hardly see any difference in performance or any woes about the lack of storage, when it comes to enterprise or business usage (for digital signage purposes, for instance) Apple TV vs Fire stick battle is clearly won by the first in the storage case.

Processor and CPU

Apple TV is furnished with a 2.93 GHz Apple A15 Bionic SoC. It comes with a 5-core GPU and 16-core Neural Engine. Moreover, it also has a powerful RAM of 4 GB LPDDR4X SDRAM. 

Fire TV Stick 4K has weaker capabilities here but it’s unsurprising given its size and price range. Max 4x ARM Cortex - A55 up to 2.0 GHz stands for a processor packed with 2GB LPDDR4 RAM. 

Is it a problem for home usage? Not at all, Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K is a great streaming device. When it comes to reliability for smooth performance in a business streaming environment, there might be some issues here. 

Apple TV 4K is much better at handling complex streaming tasks and has twice more memory to ensure a seamless performance.

Video formats support

Apple TV vs Fire Stick: Both devices support MPEG-4, MPEG-2, H.263, H.264, H.265, VP8, VP9, AV1 and Dolby Vision.

In the Apple TV 4K case, it also extends to HDR10+/HDR10/HLG with HEVC (Main 10 Profile) up to 2160p, 60 fps, and HDMI Quick Media Switching (QMS) for seamless format transitions. 

Here, again, the Apple’s device seems superior.


The Fire stick remote comes with an Alexa button and dedicated power, volume, and channel buttons. Overall, it’s quite standard for a TV remote with no special design features. 

On the other hand, Apple has worked harder with its Siri Remote. It looks slicker, feels better in hand, and overall presents a next-gen remote experience. 

But then again, it’s something individual for the users. If you can’t stand remotes that are outside of the classic cannon, you may have a problem adjusting to Apple’s Siri-powered gadget.

Apple TV vs Fire Stick pricing

Here’s the main comparison category Apple TV vs Fire Stick that is guaranteed to influence your decision. The price is very different in the case of Apple TV and Fire Stick.

Amazon’s device is a budget-friendly option. Fire TV Stick 4K Max sells for $39.99 and $69.99 depending on the storage capacity 8GB or 16GB. 

Apple TV’s pricing is much higher. It’s $129 for a 64GB model and $149 for a 128GB one. 

Is it too expensive, though? We don’t think so.

Apple TV is a much more powerful, enterprise-level device that is packed with features and boasts much bigger storage.

Fire TV Stick 4K Max vs Apple TV 4K (3rd generation) what should I buy?

Apple TV vs Fire Stick: Both devices are awesome. It’s just they are in no way equal when it comes to specs and performance.

If you’re looking for a well-regarded, quick, and efficient budget-friendly option for home use, then Fire TV Stick 4K Max checks all the boxes. $39.99 is a bargain for everything you’re getting.

Also, we recommend reading about Apple TV 2nd edition vs Apple TV 3rd.

However, if you plan to use the streaming device for business purposes and create a digital signage network, there’s no better commercial device on the market than Apple TV at the moment. It’s reliable, powerful, slick, and smooth. The gadget would be ideal for power home use and enterprise-level deployment.

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