Apple TV 4 Rumors

The latest on what the next-generation Apple TV holds

Apple TV
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No more rumors. All the details of the 4th gen. Apple TV are here.

Apple has long called its Apple TV set-top box a "hobby," but that's starting to change. Not only is that hobby selling over 5 million units a year, but it also seems central to Apple's next move: into the living room. Rumors have it that there's a new version of the Apple TV coming soon that will add exciting new features that transforms the TV from a hobby into a full-fledged entertainment system.

This page will track the rumors about the 4th generation Apple TV. Rather than including every single rumor, it will just offer the ones that seem most likely to come true—which will provide you the best idea of what to expect. I'll update the page as developments warrant.

What is the Apple TV 4: An HDTV or a Set-Top Box?

There have been a lot of rumors in the last few years about Apple releasing its own HDTV with Internet features built in. While that product may someday appear, that's not the Apple TV 4.

Virtually every rumor indicates that the new Apple TV will be another set-top box, similar to the hockey puck-style device currently available. It's not hard to imagine that the new model will be somewhat bigger, though, based on some of the other rumored features (more on that in a bit).


The Apple TV streams virtually all of its content—music, TV, movies—from your iCloud account. Because of that, the storage capacity of the device doesn't matter very much.

The current model's 8 GB of storage is there primarily for the OS and to cache streaming content.

It seems reasonable to expect that the new model will have more storage (increased resolutions for video will require more space), but it may not be a tremendous amount. The one thing that could change this is games.

If the Apple TV 4 has games, it will need to store them locally (rather than in the cloud) and that can take up a lot of room.

4K Resolution

4K is the new standard in high-definition video. The current top-level resolution, 1080p, is a 1920x1080 image. On the other hand, 4K is 3840x2160, twice the resolution of 1080p. Needless to say, 4K delivers a much more detailed and rich picture. That standard isn't widely used yet (though Netflix does stream some movies in 4K) since it's only just coming to TV sets, but it's possible that the new Apple TV will be prepared for the future by supporting 4K resolution.


DVRs like TiVO allow users to record shows to watch later. One of the most persistent rumors about the Apple TV 4 is that it will include a DVR of some kind. That may be true, though the latest rumors suggest that the if it does, users will store the shows they record in the cloud rather than on the Apple TV itself.

A La Carte Cable

Early rumors about Apple's HDTV product suggested that it would allow users to subscribe only to the cable channels that they watch, rather than paying for a bundle of channels that they don't want, as cable companies require today.

For quite some time, it seemed that that option was dead—broadcasters and cable companies seemed too opposed to it.

Now, in 2015, things have changed. With HBO and CBS's announcements that they would offer Internet-only versions of their programming, so-called "over the top" channels seem much more possible.

A recent rumor has it that Apple is negotiating with networks to allow users to purchase small bundles of channels for use with the Apple TV. That bundle could take the form of a package of 25+ channels, headlined by networks like ABC, CBS, and Fox, for $30-$40/month.

New Apps/Channels

Apple adds new channels to the Apple TV all the time, so it's not unreasonable to expect that the Apple TV 4 will launch with some new channels. What's more interesting and unknown is whether the new box will allow users to install their own apps. That's generally a toss-up, though there's one kind of app that it seems likely users will be able to add: games.


With the iOS having become the dominant mobile gaming platform over the last few years, it seems natural that games would come to the living room via the Apple TV 4. Expect to see games that users can download from a built-in App Store.

Cable Connection

One recent rumor has suggested that the new Apple TV will have the ability to connect to cable systems. This would allow the Apple TV to replace cable boxes and provide both traditional TV and Internet-based features in a single device. Time Warner cable was rumored to be the launch partner for this version of the device. However, with the proposed merger of Time Warner and Comcast, the likelihood of that is much murkier.

Built-In AirPort

Apple recently combined its Time Machine wireless backup system with an AirPort wireless router, taking what used to be two products and making it one. There's a chance that the Apple TV 4 will do the same, putting a wireless router into the TV for convenience and signal boosting.


The most recent rumors about the new Apple TV concern its remote. The standard remote that's come with the box over the years has been a tiny stick with a directional pad and a button or two. If the rumor mill is right, expect that to change this time around. Instead, rumor has it that the remote will feature two buttons and a trackpad to control the TV. It's a minor change but, if true, I suspect a useful one.


The current Apple TV is US$69, after being reduced from $99. That price cut is likely a response to competition from Google's $39 Chromecast and Amazon's similarly priced Fire TV Stick. It's certainly possible that the new model will return to the $99 price, but I wouldn't expect it to be any more expensive than that without significant new features.

Release Date

This is the big mystery—and is remaining a mystery for now. Many people had expected that the new Apple TV would debut at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in early June, but rumors close to the event indicated that Apple had scrapped that plan due to having not yet secured the necessary contracts with TV networks to offer its subscription service. It's assumed that the company is still working on those deals and that the TV will arrive when they're signed.

When that will be remains up in the arrive. Given the slow pace here, it's reasonable to assume that we may have to wait until Christmas.

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