Radically improved Apple TV will launch in September


Apple's Web TV service is almost ready.
Apple's Web TV service is almost ready.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

The long-rumored update for Apple TV will launch soon, according to a new report that claims Cupertino will launch its radically new set-top box — with thoroughly upgraded hardware and software — in September.

The Apple TV’s grand unveiling will come at the fall event the company typically uses to reveal new iPhones, reports Buzzfeed. The device was originally slated to debut at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June, but the company had to scrap those plans weeks before the event to add some additional tweaks.

The updated Apple TV will represent a significant overhaul for the small black box that hasn’t been updated in more than three years. New features are expected to include a redesigned and slimmer chassis with an A8 processor and a new remote with touch-pad input.

Apple TV’s operating system will be largely improved and include support for Siri voice control. Developers will also be able to create third-party apps, thanks to a new software development kit.

Unfortunately, Apple supposedly has no plans to unveil its TV streaming service alongside the new set-top box. Still, the company hopes the new hardware will trigger an avalanche of upgrades, setting the stage for the streaming service’s launch at the end of 2015 or early 2016.

No word on pricing yet for the new box, but if it really is coming out at the annual September keynote, Apple’s going to have a ton of new goodies to dump on us (which might explain why the iPod Touch update came with such little fanfare last month).

  • Grits n Gravy

    I’ll believe it when I see it after all the reports of it showing up for the past few years.

    • Jacob

      I hear ya, but that Packowski guy (i probably butchered his name) has a pretty solid track record with his Apple news.

  • WolfB

    I loved AppleTV, and am a self-confessed Apple “fan-boy”, but it seems so old and slow now (and I am talking about the “newest” one). The only reason I turn it on anymore is for HBO Now. Everything else I need I get through FireTV, with a much faster, more intuitive, and considerably more stable interface. I really hope they come out with a better box.

    • ZillowHater

      I just bought a FireTV too, special one on Ebay and I find it to be awful. The UI is so disjointed that I don’t even want to try and find things. AppleTV is so much easier. I have nothing that is slow on it, so not sure what you mean.

    • PMB01

      I have an Apple TV and Fire TV Stick. The Apple TV interface is vastly superior. I actually wish they’d make the ATV bigger and add things like a DTV tuner and a programming guide for OTA channels.

    • WolfB

      Just for follow-up, I’m talking about the full FireTV box, and not the FireTV Stick, FWIW. Interfaces are always contentious things- I personally just like the FireTV’s. Most of the problems I have had with AppleTV are lock-ups and terrible interface lag in Hulu and Netflix specifically. I’m a “cord-cutter” so get a lot of content from these two services. I have almost no issues at all with them using FireTV. It is true that these may be issues specific to these apps, which don’t appear to have been updated for a very long time.
      I feel an AppleTV with more memory for buffering and temporarily storing content would be awesome, and I think almost everyone wants one with an OTA tuner (or 5) and a program guide. The closest to this cord-cutting nirvana seems to be Tivo’s Roamio line, but they have a lot of streaming issues, especially with Hulu right now. I think Apple can do it much better, and I hope September proves it, even if we have to wait until later in the year for more content.
      I also hope Apple is able to negotiate streaming licenses with major providers to get rid of the whole cable/satellite login mess. Many of the channels on AppleTV (and other devices) are hamstrung by this right now.

      • johnrf

        When I rent a movie or buy a tv show from iTunes it takes forever to play. Once an episode of The Good Wife took over an hour to load. When I buy or rent on Amazon (using an LG blu-ray interface, not very good) its available immediately.

  • AAPL.To.Break.$130.Soon>:-)

    Any company can build a better streaming box but it’s going to take a lot of haggling to cut content deals that do an end run around the cable companies. I use Roku 3 boxes for both my TVs and I also have an Amazon FireStick. I’m very happy with the Roku boxes but I’ll certainly consider an AppleTV if it will play iOS games and offers a Safari browser app. I’ve got a spare HDMI port to use so it’s not that big a deal. I’ll be willing to pay $200 for an advanced AppleTV.

  • johnrf

    If Apple refuses to put Amazon Prime on Apple TV I’m going to Roku. Not just Amazon Prime but all of Amazon. Amazon is so much better than iTunes for renting movies. I would gladly buy a box that doesn’t get iTunes but I will never buy another Apple TV unless they add Amazon.

    I’m on my third Apple TV. I only bought it once but twice its gone bad under warranty. As a long time Apple customer I think Apple TV is their worst product ever.

    • Roy Hagar

      johnrf, I’m afraid you’ll wait forever for Apple to add an Amazon product to their ATV. Just isn’t going to happen. They even removed those outstanding Nest thermostats from Apple stores when the company was purchased by Google. The Apple/Google/Amazon wars are a permanent fixture of the cyberscene now. They compete, but don’t cooperate unless they’re absolutely forced to do so. I regret this, too.