It wasn’t until late last year that it launched a new version of the Apple TV streaming box, and it looks like Apple is already planning a quick successor to the best streaming box around.
According Mark Gurman’s serial leaker’s Apple report for Bloomberg (opens in a new tab)the company is preparing an improved Apple TV box with an improved processor, which is expected to go on sale in early 2024.
The new model is to maintain the same appearance as the Apple TV 4K (2022). This saw the introduction of a slightly smaller fanless case, as well as charging the remote via USB-C and up to 128GB of storage, with the device powered by Apple’s latest A15 Bionic chip.
Aside from the faster chip, the update doesn’t appear to be significant, with Gurman stating that the new model won’t support 8K streaming as some have predicted for the device’s next iteration.
The report also does not confirm whether the new Apple TV will feature a full 48Gbps HDMI 2.1 port – it’s unclear if the port on the current model will ever be capable of that, despite supporting HDMI 2.1’s eARC feature.
The report also claims that Apple plans to launch a new device that combines the functionality of an Apple TV with TV-optimized HomePod speakers and a built-in camera, and work on a new product line is delayed. At least the new HomePod 2 will keep people going for now.
Analysis: what is added here?
With the new, more powerful Apple TV just landing before Christmas, Apple’s reported plan to launch the new model early next year – all without a killer new feature, at least according to Gurman – seems a bit redundant.
The extra computing power of the new processor may give gaming a slight boost, but when it comes to its basic use, it’s unlikely we’ll see any improvement over the existing model, which already delivers the best performance and best picture quality of any current streaming device.
We’d love to see a full HDMI 2.1 port added or a UWB chip in the Siri remote to end those frustrating moments of hunting around the sofa for things. But even with these reasonable extras, it’s not a compelling reason to upgrade, especially if you can buy the remote separately (as we hope you will).
While the decision to release a new flash-and-miss-update model seems dubious, in many ways it’s good news for current Apple TV owners. The decision reaffirms Apple’s support for the platform (which hasn’t always seemed obvious thanks to the recent lack of significant tvOS updates), while also meaning older Apple TV models won’t look dated by comparison.
If you’re in the market for the current model, you can check out our list of the best Apple TV deals.