Rumor has it that Apple should soon release a new version of its set-top box as well as a new streaming service for TV content. According to a new report by BuzzFeed, Apple was supposed to announce the new Apple TV at WWDC, but it was delayed for a September launch.
The current Apple TV was released in 2012 and runs an underclocked A5 chip, which was originally developed for the iPhone 4S. This time, the Apple TV should use a much more recent chip, such as the iPhone 6’s A8 chip. A slimmer design and more internal storage wouldn’t be a surprise, as well.
Yet, two big questions remain on the user interface and Apple’s content strategy. The current interface of the Apple TV is cumbersome and the company knows that it has to do something to fix it. Using Siri for voice queries would be a first step as both Google and Amazon provide a similar feature with the Nexus Player and Fire TV.
Recent patent applications have also indicated that Apple has been working on some sort of touch interface for the Apple TV. It’s unclear whether Apple will take advantage of your iPhone or create a brand new remote with a touch screen.
On the content front, the Apple TV service has been rumored for years and it seems that it’s not quite ready yet. While the new Apple TV announcement has been delayed, you shouldn’t expect to see an Apple-branded streaming service in September. Instead, the company wants to release the new device with existing third-party services, such as Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now and Showtime as the existing Apple TV has been around for too long. Similarly, Apple wants people to buy as many new Apple TVs as possible in order to be ready when it launches its new streaming service months later.
As a reminder, Apple announced the Apple Watch during the iPhone event last year. Supply chain leaks indicate that Apple is working on an iPhone 6S — Apple won’t spend an hour and a half talking about the new iPhones 6S, leaving room for another announcement. Announcing a new Apple TV during the same event would make sense.
Finally, Apple should release an SDK as well as a dedicated App Store for the TV. It would bring the Apple TV up to par with Android TV and make the device much more powerful. Even if Apple doesn’t launch its streaming service at the same time, third-party developers could start developing for the new device right away before the Apple TV becomes a must-have.