Apple TV 6th Generation: Price, Release Date, Rumors, and News

What's in store for the newest Apple TV iteration?

Apple TV
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With streaming services like Netflix, Roku, Amazon, and Apple driving today's multi-million-dollar entertainment industry, rumors are churning about what a 6th generation Apple TV will bring to the table. Here's what we know so far.

When Will a 6th Generation Apple TV Be Released?

Because the 4th generation Apple TV was announced in September of 2015 and the 5th generation model was announced in 2017, news about a 6th generation model was expected by the fall of 2020. Apple, however, hasn't yet made any official announcements about an Apple TV 6.

Lifewire Release Date Estimate

We watched the October, November, and December Apple events and yeah, nada was mentioned about a new version of Apple TV. Since industry rumors and countless tweets were wrong about 2020, our bet is on Spring 2021 specifically March 16 at the next Apple Event.

Apple needs a shot in the arm in the streaming wars but apparently announcing a $500+ pair of headphones rather than something useful like a better Apple TV was the choice it made to get it a sales boost through the holidays. But hey, Apple does things the Apple way. Ours is not to reason why.

Apple TV 6 Price Rumors

The Apple TV 4K is expensive, running from $179 to $199, while competing devices from Amazon, Google, and Roku cost as little as $35.

Since Apple seems to be particularly interested in selling subscriptions to its streaming video service, we suspect Apple TV price cuts will be used to tempt subscribers when it does arrive.

While the Apple TV is a simple hockey-puck-sized black square, other streaming devices have a wider variety of options and price points. For example, Roku offers streaming sticks that start at around $39 as well as more expensive devices, such as the Roku Ultra and Roku TV.

If the 6th generation Apple TV does deliver multiple shapes and sizes, expect that some of those models will start at well below $100.

Pre-Order Information

Because no official announcement has been made, there is no information available about pre-orders yet.

The Latest News About Apple TV 6

You can get more streaming news from Lifewire on all kinds of topics; here are more stories (and some of those earlier rumors) about Apple's possible plans for Apple TV.

Potential 6th Generation Apple TV Features

While Apple hasn't released anything official, here are a few of the new specs industry watchers expect.

In what's seen as a major turn toward a smart-home push that could include its streaming devices, the Apple HomePod and Apple TV engineering teams merged earlier this year.

Apple TV 6 Specs, Hardware and Features

Nothing is known yet about actual specs or hardware for the next Apple TV device. Here are our guesses, though, based on our research.

Improved Storage

We're hearing that the new Apple TV 4K will be offer two storage capacities: 64GB and 128GB.

Better Inclusion of Siri

However, the 4th generation Apple TV and Apple TV 4K already support Siri, using the voice assistant to search for movies and TV shows. Experts say the Apple TV 6 may incorporate more Siri functionality.

The Apple HomePod smart speaker may provide a glimpse of how the next generation of Apple TV would employ Siri. Instead of speaking directly into the remote control to use Siri, you might be able to speak out loud and have the set-top box hear and respond to you.

Revised Remote

The Apple TV's Siri remote control is one of the device's most controversial features. Many people find it slippery, hard to figure out, and too small. The next Apple TV likely will include a revised and upgraded remote control. Some reports say it will have a "find my remote" feature to locate the remote when it's lost somewhere in the home.

Modifications to its form factor are likely. Other interesting rumors about the remote include integrating the Touch ID fingerprint scanner for authorizing purchases, logging into accounts, and overall security.

Faster Performance

The Apple TV 4K is snappy in terms of performance, whether you're streaming video or playing games. Apple has made big strides in the performance of the A-series processors used in the iPhone and iPad since the last Apple TV was released. We expect the Apple TV 6 to benefit from new and improved chips to improve Apple Arcade play.

In May of 2020, tech analyst Jon Prosser tweeted, "New Apple TV 4K with A12X - 64GB/128GB ready to ship. Code name: Neptune T1125." While timing reports now indicate a 2021 release, if Prosser is right about the faster A12 bionic or better processor, we're looking at a more powerful Apple TV.

Several rumors say the new Apple TV will have an A14 chip, which is used in the newest iPhone 12 lineup.

A speedier processor will come in handy with games, allowing the Apple TV to deliver performance that may rival dedicated gaming consoles. It would also come in handy with Apple Arcade performance.

More Storage

While not a major upgrade, storage-capacity increases are common with new generations of Apple products. The Apple TV 4K offers 32 GB and 64 GB of storage, which is the same as previous generations. As games and apps use more storage space, however, we expect the Apple TV 6 to offer something like 64 GB and 128 GB (or more) of storage.

Apple Streaming Video Service

The Apple streaming video service won't be exclusive to the 6th generation Apple TV. Still, it will be a big selling point for the device. As Apple increasingly focuses on selling services and not only hardware, a monthly subscription-based streaming video offering could be a big strategic element.

Face ID

Some rumors suggest that Apple could bring its Face ID facial recognition technology to the Apple TV. It would be used for unlocking the device, authorizing purchases, loading personalized settings, and more. This rumor is unlikely since it would require the addition of a camera to the Apple TV hardware, and that wouldn't work with smaller form factors.

Is The End of the Apple TV Near?

There might not be a 'new' Apple TV coming at all.

Apple made big news early in 2019 when it announced a series of deals to integrate iTunes, AirPlay 2, HomeKit, and other key technologies in TVs made by Samsung, LG, Sony, and others. While this was seen as a step toward the launch of a streaming video service, could it also be the first step toward the demise of the Apple TV? After all, if you can get all of Apple's video technologies built into your TV, why buy the hardware?

It seems unlikely that Apple would make such a radical move right now, but it's not impossible.

Ready to buy an Apple TV now? Get the scoop on everything you need to know by reading What to Buy When You Buy an Apple TV.

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