The Apple TV is an impressive media streaming box with access to a wide range of apps and streaming services along with premium features like AirPlay 2 and advanced EDID capabilities, but with premium features comes a premium price tag. That’s a bit of a problem for Apple, considering most of the competition costs a fraction of Apple’s streamer.
However, rumours suggest Apple is working on a new, more affordable Apple TV behind closed doors and it could be released sooner than you might think.
The main source of information about a new Apple TV is none other than Ming-Chi Kuo, the famed Apple analyst that recently set up a Twitter to share his thoughts on upcoming product releases.
While he isn’t always on the money, Kuo has a fairly decent track record when it comes to Apple releases, with AppleTrack awarding a score of 72.5% accuracy at the time of writing.
With that in mind, here’s everything there is to know about a new, more affordable Apple TV rumoured for release later this year.
When will the new Apple TV (2022) be released?
According to Ming-Chi Kuo in a May 2022 tweet, Apple is planning to “launch a new version of Apple TV” sometime in 2H22, or the second half of 2022. That means the new product can launch anytime between July and the end of this year – though Apple doesn’t tend to launch new hardware in the summer months.
What’s more likely is a reveal of the new hardware in the autumn, as has been the case with previous Apple TV releases. The Apple TV HD was released in October 2015, while the first Apple TV 4K was released in September 2017.
Admittedly, the May 2021 release of the second-gen Apple TV 4K does mess with this schedule somewhat, but considering rumours suggest it’s likely a refresh to the entry-level model, the autumn model still fits.
With that in mind, we’d expect to see the new Apple TV released sometime this autumn, likely in September or October.
How much will the new Apple TV (2022) cost?
While it’s not known exactly how much the new Apple TV will cost, Kuo suggests that the new model will “improve cost structure” at release later this year – and considering just how much the Apple TV HD and Apple TV 4K cost compared to the competition, it’s about time too.
At the moment, you’ve got the choice of three models of Apple TV. You’ve got the entry-level £139/$149 Apple TV HD and two models of Apple TV 4K, 32GB and 64GB, that cost £169/$179 and £189/$199 respectively.
While there aren’t many competitors to the Apple TV 4K and its high-end home theatre standards, complete with advanced EDID capabilities, support for a wide range of codecs and formats – aside from the Nvidia Shield, that is – there are plenty of 1080p streamers on the market, and none cost anywhere near as much as the Apple TV HD.
Yes, the entry-level model also sports support for a wide range of codecs and Apple’s impressive EDID, but that won’t make much difference to budget-focused buyers that just want their favourite streaming services on-demand.
And for that, there are plenty of cheap 1080p streamers on the market including the £39/$39 Amazon Fire TV Stick, £29/$29 Fire TV Stick Lite and £29/$29 Roku Express. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find a 1080p streamer at even £99/$99, making the Apple TV HD an even harder pitch.
With that all in mind, if Apple truly wants to improve its cost structure and get more people signed up for its various Apple TV-enabled subscription services, it’ll have to drop the price quite substantially, possibly below the £99/$99 mark, but that’s unconfirmed right now.
We’ll update this section with specifics as soon as we hear more.
What to expect from the next Apple TV
While Kuo has provided us with an insight into when to expect the new Apple TV, and its cheaper focus, the analyst has yet to provide any solid details on what it might actually offer.
It’s safe to assume it’ll offer the same core Apple TV experience as recent models, with support for tvOS and its suite of TV-compatible apps including most popular streaming services.
After all, Kuo suggests Apple’s strategy is to integrate “hardware, content and service amid the recession” and access to apps like Apple Music, Apple Arcade and Apple Fitness on the platform will be key.
Those hoping for an affordable 4K model might be out of luck though; we can’t imagine it’ll make the jump to 4K and risk cannibalising the Apple TV 4K, suggesting that like the existing HD model, it’ll be capped at 1080p.
Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman teases that the new Apple TV could feature an upgraded A14 Bionic chipset and an additional 1GB of RAM, though it’s unclear whether he’s referring to the entry-level model or an update to the more powerful 4K variant. Logic suggests the latter considering the current 4K model features an A12 Bionic, and Apple wouldn’t want to make its entry-level product more powerful than its ‘pro’ variant, but it’s unconfirmed for now.
We imagine we’ll be hearing a lot more about the new affordable Apple TV over the next few months, and we’ll be sure to update this section with any new rumours and leaks as soon as they appear.
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