The Apple TV 4,1 hardware update has been spotted inside iOS 7 software builds, and suggests a major overhaul.
A revamped Apple TV with an early 2014 release date has been rumoured for quite some time, but we’ve seen little official evidence from Apple as to if and when it will launch.
However, an Apple TV 4,1 hardware update has been spotted within iOS 7 software builds, directly related to AirPlay functionality.
The next-generation 4,1 Apple TV could be a major overhaul, especially as the current model is Apple TV 3,2. The Apple TV 3,1 also seen in the listing is the 1080p full HD model introduced in March 2012, while 2,1 is the original model introduced in September 2010.
The first reference to Apple TV 4,1 in iOS 7 appeared in September 2013, but hasn’t actually been discovered since then. As it has been in the works for some time, we could see a launch happen in the very near future.
As the last Apple TV model was launched in March 2012, so it is plausible that Apple will launch the new model in March 2013.
iOS 7.1 has already been heavily rumoured for a March release, so we could see the two launch side by side.
Earlier this year, sources suggest the new Apple TV model would be completely redesigned and potentially include new features like gaming functionality.
In January a report suggested that the fourth generation Apple TV will run on a revamped iOS-based operating system and support new types of content, potentially a TV-specific App Store or Game Store.
Such an update could turn the Apple TV into an affordable home games console to rival the likes of the Android Ouya console.
Other rumours also suggest the next Apple TV will feature an in-built wireless router and a TV tuner. This would combine the Apple TV with Apple's Airport Express.
Apple has said there will be new product category launches for 2014, so perhaps we could see the rumoured Apple iTV emerge out of the Cupertino offices.
“There will be new categories. We’re not ready to talk about it, but we’re working on some really great stuff,” said Tim Cook, Apple CEO, in an interview.
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