At times, during the last few months of 2020, it seemed Apple was hosting product launches or announcing new tech on a weekly basis. However, a new version of the Apple TV set-top box was conspicuous by its absence.
Yet good news is on the way. According to Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman, it is in the pipeline for 2021, and will bring considerable updates to help Apple compete with some of the cheaper options on the market from the likes of Google, Roku and Amazon.
Gurman, perhaps the most reliable reporter around when it comes to Apple news, reckons it will increase the focus on gaming, perhaps with the Apple Arcade platform in mind.
The new Apple TV 4K will also debut a new remote control and processor, adding a little speed to proceedings. The Apple Siri remote was a big improvement on the original silver Apple TV remote, but it isn’t the most perfect solution and certainly has its detractors (this writer included).
Related: Apple TV Plus vs Netflix
In the Fully Charged article Gurman points out that the lack of Apple TV updates this year could have harmed the company’s prospects in this arena, given the launch of the Apple TV Plus streaming service and the renaissance of the television as people’s main screen during the pandemic.
Apple hasn’t updated the Apple TV in more than three years and it’s still running the A10X chipset. At £180 for the 32GB model, it’s also significantly more expensive than rival devices like the new Chromecast with Google TV and the Amazon Fire Stick 4K.
Gurman predicts the company has plenty of work to do if it is to reel in the competition. He says: “Those changes will fix some of the Apple TV box’s issues, but the product will need to take another big leap—akin to its 2015 changes—to remain competitive in the long term. Either that or it needs to get a lot cheaper.”