Next Apple TV will have A14 processor and 4GB RAM

The rumor: Apple is working on a fresh Apple TV with better specs, according to Mark Gurman (86.5% accurate, via Power On).

  • “The new Apple TV, code-named 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,” Gurman says
  • A new Siri remote could also be coming, as code discovered in iOS 16 beta 2 suggests

Sam’s take: To me, this should have been the update we got in 2021. While Apple nailed the new remote that launched with that Apple TV, the specs inside were still underwhelming. An A14 chip + extra RAM could more easily justify the price of the high-end streaming box. But I still think the cheaper version coming will still be the most interesting thing we see this year (Apple TV-wise).

Apple pushes further into sports with exclusive 10-year partnership for MLS matches

The news: Apple and Major League Soccer (MLS) have partnered to broadcast all matches exclusively through the Apple TV app for the next 10 years, Apple announced in a new press release.

  • Beginning in early 2023 and lasting until 2032, the Apple TV app will be the place to go for MLS content and extras, including “game replays, highlights, analysis, and other original programming”
  • Apple is touting no local broadcast blackouts or the need to pay for a TV bundle as major wins for the new agreement…making it a historic partnership as there has never been a time where you could find everything for an entire sports league in one place before
  • Apple says specific details about pricing and sign-ups will be announced later this year

Sam’s take: First it was MLB “Friday Night Baseball.” Now it’s an even more serious partnership with the entirety of MLS. Apple is really pushing exclusive sports content as a means to make Apple TV+ a more compelling service. And I think it’s going to work. Every person that seriously cares about MLS will now be a regular in the Apple TV app for the next 10 years…

Cheaper Apple TV rumored to release later in 2022

The rumor: Apple is finally be making a more affordable Apple TV, according to Ming-Chi Kuo (72.5% accurate).

Sam’s take: Why Apple has never developed a $49 Apple TV streaming stick or box is beyond me. I know they used to only make high-end products, but now every segment but Apple TV has an “SE” style product that is solid and inexpensive. Looking forward to this!

Apple TV/HomePod/FaceTime combo device not launching until 2023

The rumor: Apple’s wild new device set to revitalize the Apple TV line is still years away, according to Mark Gurman (88.8% accurate, via Power On).

  • Apple is “developing a combined Apple TV, HomePod and FaceTime camera home hub device for release around 2023” Gurman says
  • Gurman first described this device a few months ago—while mentioning it was in early development—but it appears that Apple is still working on it presently

Our take: If this device that is supposed to be the savior to the Apple TV line doesn’t describe the current situation of the Apple TV & HomePod, then I don’t know what does: it’s confusing and chaotic with no clear path forward. How can Apple nail a product like iPhone or Mac yet be so clueless for their audio/visual suites?

New iMac, iPad Pro & Apple TV releasing on May 21

The news: While Apple previously provided launch guidance of “available second half of May,” we now have the exact launch date.

  • The updated iMac, iPad Pro and Apple TV models all launch on Friday, May 21 (pre-orders go live tomorrow at 5am PST)
  • Apple hasn’t publicly confirmed the release date yet…but it leaked in the source page code for the UK press release (nice find, 9to5Mac!)

Our take: So the new products are just under a month away. Seems like pre-ordering this round will be the way to go because there have been wide concerns about supply for both iPad Pro and iMac…

Apple announces updated Apple TV 4K with A12 chip & all-new remote

The news: Apple just announced a new version of the Apple TV after years of no updates.

  • Upgraded A12 chip brings faster speeds to your home setup
  • New HDR high frame rate support for smoother content viewing
  • New color balance feature improves TV picture quality using your iPhone
  • The updated remote is redesigned and looks much more user-friendly
  • You can pre-order the new Apple TV soon, and it ships in the second half of May

2021 Apple TV to support 120Hz refresh rate

The leak: The next Apple TV will support a higher refresh rate, according to 9to5Mac (77.2% accurate).

  • In the latest tvOS 14.5 beta, “Multiple references to ‘120Hz’ and ‘supports120Hz’ have been added to tvOS’ PineBoard in the latest beta release…PineBoard is the internal name of the system that controls the Apple TV interface”
  • Apple is rumored to release a new Apple TV sometime in 2021, but no credible source has provided a concrete timeline just yet

Our take: So Apple is working on an updated TV after all. There was some speculation after that weird remote situation that there actually wouldn’t be a new Apple TV coming. 120Hz support is killer for those who have a TV that supports the tech, and will make everything appear buttery smooth. It’s coming to the iPhone in 2021, too.

This may be the new Apple TV remote: it’s not what we thought

The leak: Apple’s new remote for the Apple TV may not be what we thought, according to 9to5Mac (77.2% accurate) and Apple TV expert Sigmund Judge.

  • While rumors of a new Apple TV remote have been brewing for years, it appears the updated remote will actually be an alternative the the existing Siri remote
  • A leaked image of the new remote was discovered by 9to5Mac…but it turns out that it exactly matches a new remote announced recently by Universal Electronics

Our take: It seems like Apple was never planning to update the current Siri remote: rather, they worked with Universal Electronics to develop a different remote that may be bundled with packages from cable providers. Weird turn of events here…seems like the current, problematic Apple TV remote shall remain.

Ahead of Apple’s March 23 event, 4 new products are reportedly ready to ship

The rumor: Ahead of a rumored March 23 event, Jon Prosser (78.2% accurate) has shared a number of products that could launch at any time.

  • Here’s what Prosser says is ready: Apple TV, new AirPods, AirTags and iPad Pro
  • This being said, it’s unlikely that we’ll see all of this in March alone

Our take: I think AirTags and a new iPad Pro will be announced on March 23 at an Apple event, with the possibility that an updated Apple TV makes an appearance, as well. Don’t think new AirPods are coming until April/May.

Apple TV 6 may launch at Apple TV+ event in Q4 2021, ‘Apple Arcade+’ service in development

The rumor: Apple is preparing upgrades to Apple TV, tvOS and Apple Arcade in 2021, according to The Verifier (54.3% accurate).

For the next Apple TV:

  • New remote
  • Game controller in development
  • Processor faster than A12
  • 64/128GB storage (with higher tiers potentially coming in the future)
  • More than 3GB RAM
  • Launch at a TV+ event in the fourth quarter of 2021

Rumored details about ‘Apple Arcade+’:

  • “Preliminary details reveal that the company is in advanced contacts with major and well-known gaming players in order to offer their games outside of the Xbox, PlayStation and PC consoles” The Verifier says
  • The expanded service may launch as soon as later this year

And for the reported changes coming in tvOS 15:

  • Major design refresh; App Store will see upgraded UI
  • Kids mode with better parental controls
  • Screen Time
  • Upgraded broadcast schedule, improved recording management and channel subscription bundles

Our take: Wild to hear that the new Apple TV could still be 9 months away. Expecting some pretty big things from this 6th-gen version after seeing it delayed time and time again. As for Apple Arcade+, call me skeptical: I think we might see a price bump and I certainly see a future where AAA games make their way to the platform. But it would be a bit odd to have 2 different tiers.

Sources agree refreshed Apple TV likely delayed until 2021

The rumor: Apple no longer has plans to update the Apple TV this year, according to Jon Prosser (85.2% accurate).

  • The Apple TV 6, which may have an A12x processor inside and redesigned remote, is now scheduled to release sometime in 2021
  • Mark Gurman (87.8% accurate) also suggested that the Apple TV originally scheduled for this year had been pushed back
  • However, The Verifier (51.9% accurate) maintains that a new model is still coming in November or December of this year

Our take: For once, Gurman and Prosser agree on this one: no new Apple TV this year. Sigh. Not that there are a ton of Apple TV fans drooling over the idea of an updated model, but 3 years without an update is a bit much.