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In context: Apple's minimalistic design approach for the Siri Remote didn't win it many fans among Apple TV users, most of whom are annoyed by usability issues resulting from the hardware's thin, slippery design and touch-sensitive controls. This prompted Salt, a Swiss telco, to come up with its own remote control that's now being offered to its broadband customers for use with the Apple TV.
It seems like a considerable number of Salt Fiber customers weren't happy with the Siri Remote that comes with the company's Apple TV 4K bundle. The Swiss broadband provider recently came up with an alternative option for those who prefer a more traditional layout for TV remotes, as opposed to Apple's offering, which users have found ergonomically difficult to use due to its small, symmetric design and a heavy reliance on the use of a trackpad for navigation.
The resulting consumer frustration led Salt to develop its own remote for the Apple TV, which it now sells for 19.95 Swiss francs ($20). Interestingly, the Salt remote works natively with Apple's set-top box as the latter collaborated on the hardware's development, making it convenient for customers to use the device without needing to go through an initial setup or pairing process.
Apple also has an existing (and cheaper) alternative to the Siri Remote, but it too suffers from the same usability issues. The more recent iterations of Apple TV (fourth and fifth-gen) have added support for IR universal remotes and Salt's offering reportedly works over IR as well, since it doesn't have a microphone for Siri input.
For now, the Salt Remote can only be purchased locally at the company's physical stores in Switzerland. It remains to be seen if it becomes available in other countries, though a simpler, chunkier remote control that's less prone to slipping and getting lost between the cushions would likely make for a popular Apple TV accessory.