The latest Apple TV was launched in October, but now rumors already point to plans to release a new model.
Sources familiar with the matter tell DigiTimes that Apple is testing a prototype of its next-gen Apple TV in December. They say the company intends to put the pedal to the metal in manufacturing the device as early as the first quarter of 2016. A much better processor that will make the upcoming Apple TV “dramatically faster” is said to be among the upgrades in the future tvOS-powered gadget.
“Apple is planning to adopt a new CPU for the fifth-generation Apple TV to dramatically improve the device’s hardware performance and will add new functions to help it no longer serve only as a set-top box,” the report says.
Seeing how the current-generation Apple TV was launched with games and apps, a legitimate question is whether or not the new Apple tvOS will bring superior gaming compatibility.
There is a thin chance the product will launch soon, and so the report should be taken more like a hint that Apple could be preparing to show new hardware next year.
It should be remembered that the fourth-generation Apple TV got pushed back a couple of times. Rumors suggested that the original launch date was June instead of October 2015.
A more realistic horizon for the launch of the fifth-generation of Apple TV is somewhere in September or October next year.
A streaming channel for the Apple TV is also expected to come in 2016. Perhaps the release of the service and the new device could happen simultaneously. Such a strategy would permit the company to sink the price of the current Apple TV so that it strikes the $99 sweet spot again. Throw in a $20 to $30 streaming service and Apple might get more attention and cash from the public.
The market for smart TVs is already split among big names such as Roku, Amazon and Google. Even if e-commerce giant Amazon saw better sales on its Fire TV than the Apple TV, it lags behind rivals Google and Roku.