We were under the impression that a new Apple TV box was coming in 2020, but with the rumoured date come and go, it’s likely that it’s been pushed back to 2021.
But, quite frankly, who knows when the new Apple TV box will eventually arrive. In true Apple style, they’ve not confirmed it’s even in development and despite the release of Apple Arcade, Apple TV+ and the latest big tvOS update, either launch would have seemed like a prime candidate for a new Apple TV box to emerge alongside.
There’s speculation over whether Apple will hold a March event, though some are now saying it’s been pushed back to April 2021. Whatever the case may be an updated Apple TV box looks like it’s on the horizon, and here’s what we know about it.
When will the new Apple TV box be released?
The Apple TV HD went on sale October 2015. The most recent Apple TV box launched in 2017, and brought with it 4K and HDR support. A new box did not arrive in 2019.
Jon Prosser tweeted that a new Apple TV 4K with the codename Neptune T1125 is ready to ship all the way back in May 2020.
It turned out that was wildly incorrect as a new set-op box was a no-show. Bloomberg cited that “people familiar with the development” believe the device won’t ship until some time in early 2021 and it would others have changed their tuned to match that report.
How much will the new Apple TV 6 cost?
The 32GB version of Apple TV 4K sells for £179, and £199 for the 64GB version. The fourth generation Apple TV HD is still available for £149.
With a 64GB and 128GB version of the Apple TV 6 said to be in the works, it’s likely this would replace the existing 32GB/64GB configurations.
Our thoughts on the matter is that the price will remain the same at £179 and £199 considering the Apple TV 6 is less a streaming stick and more a set-top box.
What does the new Apple TV 2021 look like?
One thing that has been consistent about the new Apple TV box is that its the physical design will remain the same.
That’s not to say it couldn’t use an update. The current box has a single HDMI 2.0 output and a move to HDMI 2.1 would enable eARC for Atmos audio.
According to 9to5mac, a new remote is in the works. The current Siri voice remote is not much loved and not ideal for gaming, especially as this latest streaming player is being positioned as a gaming device.
What features will the new Apple TV box have?
The current box packs a powerful A10X chipset, but info uncovered in iOS 13.4 suggests the new streamer will bump that up to A12 or A13 for better gaming performance.
In terms of HDR the existing box supports the industry standard HDR10 along with the more advanced Dolby Vision. Considering the Apple TV+ streaming library heavily backs Dolby Vision, we’d imaging it to be unlikely that HDR10+ would be considered for the latest box.
It’ll certainly feature tvOS 14 or (considering how long it’s taken), whatever derivation of that OS is in the wings, of that we can be sure of. New features to tvOS include access to HomeKit-enabled video cameras and accessories through Siri or Control Centre. If an owner has a smart home set-up, they can receive doorbell notifications on the big screen, which will show live feeds of who is at the door.
Multi-user capabilities have expanded to include Apple Arcade, with instant resumption so players can pick up from where they left off. Gamers can switch between users through Control Centre, and that’s where info about game progress, Game Center achievements, leaderboards and friends are stored.
The Apple TV platform now has support for Xbox controllers in the Xbox Elite 2 and Adaptive controller. There’s also support for YouTube 4K, and Picture-in-Picture (PIP) support is available across the Apple TV system, supported by AirPlay, which can stream in 4K. Whenever the new Apple TV box launches, you can look forward to enjoying all of these features and whatever else Apple has cooked up their sleeves.