Will there be a new Apple TV?
It’s just over a year since Apple last refreshed the Apple TV, but it wasn’t a major update at that time, the name didn’t even change from Apple TV 4K, so the only obvious distinction between the 2021 Apple TV 4K and 2017 Apple TV 4K generations is the redesigned Apple TV remote. Find out how the two models compare here: Apple TV 4K (2021) vs Apple TV 4K (2017). (Spoiler: The newer model uses a A12 Bionic rather than an A10X processor, features an improved HDMI standard for support for High Frame Rate 4K video, and offers a means to calibrate the colours of your TV using your iPhone camera).
According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, who seems to have his finger on the pulse of what’s going on behind closed doors at Apple, there is indeed a new Apple TV being worked on at Apple. This new model is apparently code-named J255, will feature an A14 chip, an extra GB of RAM. Both could help improve the gaming capabilities of the device (and would be supported by tvOS 16).
There have also been rumours that Apple will launch a games console, which may very well be an iteration of the Apple TV. Read about Apple’s plans to launch a games console as part of the Apple TV.
When will the new Apple TV be released?
A few rumors have already started doing the rounds that suggest a new Apple TV may only be a few months away. Gurman, mentioned above, has predicted a new product “deluge coming between the fall of 2022 and first half of 2023.” These will include “the company’s first mixed-reality headset, low-end and high-end iPads, updated AirPods Pro earbuds, a fresh HomePod and an upgraded Apple TV,” he believes.
Industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a steady track record when it comes to Apple-related predictions, also thinks a new Apple TV is coming soon. In a tweet in May 2022, he stated that Apple “will launch a new version of Apple TV that improves cost structure in 2H22.” While this might seem somewhat vague, it translates into the simple fact that he expects a new Apple TV to arrive in the second half of 2022.
Looking to the past few models doesn’t really give us any firmer ideas or when exactly this might be, as you can see from the rather scattergun approach outlined below:
- Apple TV 4K (2nd gen): May 2021
- Apple TV 4K (1st gen): Sep 2017
- Apple TV HD: Oct 2015
Apple tends not to launch much hardware in the summer, so we’d expect to see something emerge around September or October. Read When is Apple’s Next Event.
How much will the new Apple TV cost?
Again, this is all unconfirmed at the moment, but in his tweet above Ming-Chi Kuo uses the term “improves cost structure” which could be translated along the lines of “will be cheaper.” At the moment, the Apple TV 4K HD sells for $179/£169 if you want the 32GB version, while the 64GB model is $199/£189. This makes it pretty much the most expensive streaming box on the market, with most of its rivals from Amazon and Roku dropping the set-top-box design in favor of streaming sticks. There are a few exceptions, such as the Amazon Fire TV Cube and Roku Streambar, but they still tend to come in a bit cheaper.
All this means that a cheaper Apple TV could be coming in time for the holidays.
Here’s the current prices of the main alternatives:
If the rumors about a cheaper version are true, then it could help Apple’s streamer get more hold in a marketplace that currently sees Amazon, Google and Roku rule the roost.
New features and tech specs
Applying the caveats mentioned earlier, we have seen rumours from solid sources that suggest Apple is going to beef things up with the new update. Mark Gurman from Bloomberg, who also has an excellent track record when it comes to Apple, wrote recently about new specs that we might see in the Apple TV (2022) model.
He stated in his Power On newsletter that “The new Apple TV, codenamed J255, is in development with an A14 chip and an additional gigabyte of RAM. That compares with the A12 chip announced as part of the 2021 Apple TV last year and could be useful for additional gaming capabilities rolling out in tvOS 16.”
The A14 processor is the same one found in the iPhone 12 range as well as the iPad Air (4th gen), which does seem like overkill for a simple streaming box. It appears that Apple wants to keep pursuing the gaming angle on the Apple TV.
There were rumors a while back that we might see a new hybrid device that combined the Apple TV and HomePod – read our HomePod with screen rumor roundup – but Gurman seems to have scotched this by writing about an update to the latter. “The HomePod, codenamed B620,” states Gurman, “will run the same S8 chip coming to the watches and will be closer to the original HomePod in terms of size and audio performance rather than a new HomePod mini. The new HomePod will have an updated display on top and there’s even been some talk of multi-touch functionality.”
So far, that’s all the information we have on an update to the Apple TV range. Whether it’s a cheaper streaming stick of a more powerful hockey puck, we’ll just have to wait and see. Thankfully, it shouldn’t be too long.
Until then, you can take a look at our guides to the best shows coming to Apple TV+ plus find out how to get Apple TV+ for free.