Archive of Apple TV Rumors

Just one month after Bloomberg reported that Apple is testing a new Apple TV capable of streaming high-resolution 4K video, which it said is codenamed "J105" and could launch as soon as this year, the first evidence of the rumored fifth-generation streaming box may have surfaced in developer logs.


Firi Games, the developers behind arcade games Phoenix HD and Phoenix II, told us they have seen a single device identified as "AppleTV6,2" and running "tvOS 11.0" connect to Phoenix HD for Apple TV from the United States in its logs. The IP address falls within a range linked to Apple's headquarters in Cupertino.

The current Apple TV has a model identifier of AppleTV5,3, and Apple TV6,2 does not correspond with any released model.

While the details could be faked, similar evidence of an iPhone 5s running iOS 7 showed up in January 2013, around nine months before the device was announced, and the timeline is appropriate if Apple is indeed testing a new Apple TV. The current Apple TV, the first to run tvOS, launched in October 2015.

No other details surrounding a fifth-generation Apple TV are known at this point. In December 2015, hit-or-miss Taiwanese website DigiTimes, citing supply chain sources, claimed the next-generation Apple TV would feature a new CPU with dramatically improved performance, but that report has yet to materialize.

Last quarter, Apple financial chief Luca Maestri said Apple TV sales declined compared to the year-ago quarter, when the fourth-generation model launched. The product still remains something of a hobby for Apple, which reportedly shelved its rumored streaming TV service and only has its "toe in the water" with original content.
Apple today seeded the sixth beta of an upcoming tvOS 10.2 update to developers for testing purposes, just under one week after seeding the fifth tvOS 10.2 update and more than a month after releasing tvOS 10.1.1, the current release version of tvOS.

Designed for the fourth-generation Apple TV, the sixth tvOS 10.2 beta can be obtained by connecting the Apple TV to a computer with a USB-C to USB-A cable, downloading and installing the software from a registered developer account via iTunes or Apple Configurator. Once a profile is installed, subsequent betas can be downloaded over the air.

Given the tricky installation requirements, tvOS betas are limited to developers and will not be provided to the public.

tvos-10-2-beta
According to Apple's release notes, tvOS 10.2 introduces improved scrolling behavior, allowing tvOS users to scroll through large lists of information more quickly. A large swipe on the Siri remote automatically activates the new scrolling mode, and a swipe on the far right side of the remote allows users to navigate specific indexes.

It's likely there are other small feature tweaks and bug fixes included in tvOS 10.2, even though additional changes have not been specifically outlined by Apple. We'll update this post should if any new content is found in the sixth tvOS 10.2 beta.
Apple today seeded the fifth beta of an upcoming tvOS 10.2 update to developers for testing purposes, just over one week after seeding the fourth tvOS 10.2 update and more than a month after releasing tvOS 10.1.1, the current release version of tvOS.

Designed for the fourth-generation Apple TV, the fifth tvOS 10.2 beta can be obtained by connecting the Apple TV to a computer with a USB-C to USB-A cable, downloading and installing the software from a registered developer account via iTunes or Apple Configurator. Once a profile is installed, subsequent betas can be downloaded over the air.

Given the tricky installation requirements, tvOS betas are limited to developers and will not be provided to the public.

tvos-10-2-beta
According to Apple's release notes, tvOS 10.2 introduces improved scrolling behavior, allowing tvOS users to scroll through large lists of information more quickly. A large swipe on the Siri remote automatically activates the new scrolling mode, and a swipe on the far right side of the remote allows users to navigate specific indexes.

It's likely there are other small feature tweaks and bug fixes included in tvOS 10.2, even though additional changes have not been specifically outlined by Apple. We'll update this post should any new content be found in the fifth tvOS 10.2 beta.
Apple today updated its official list of vintage and obsolete products to add the second-generation Apple TV, originally released in 2010.

The second-generation Apple TV was the first Apple TV that featured a black body and an aluminum Apple Remote, an updated look compared to the silver and white Apple TV that was originally released in 2007.

Apple sold the second-generation Apple TV from September of 2010 until 2012, which is when the company released the third-generation Apple TV with an A5 chip and support for 1080p content.

The second-generation Apple TV is now classified as "vintage" in the United States and Turkey and "obsolete" in the rest of the world. Vintage products are those that have not been manufactured for more than 5 and less than 7 years ago, while obsolete products are those that were discontinued more than 7 years ago.

Both classifications essentially mean Apple is no longer providing hardware service for the device except in Turkey and California, where local statutes require that Apple continue to provide service and parts for a longer period of time.
Apple today seeded the fourth beta of an upcoming tvOS 10.2 update to developers for testing purposes, just over one week after seeding the third tvOS 10.2 update and more than a month after releasing tvOS 10.1.1, the current release version of tvOS.

Designed for the fourth-generation Apple TV, the fourth tvOS 10.2 beta can be obtained by connecting the Apple TV to a computer with a USB-C to USB-A cable, downloading and installing the software from a registered developer account via iTunes or Apple Configurator. Once a profile is installed, subsequent betas can be downloaded over the air.

Given the tricky installation requirements, tvOS betas are limited to developers and will not be provided to the public.

tvos-10-2-beta
According to Apple's release notes, tvOS 10.2 introduces improved scrolling behavior, allowing tvOS users to scroll through large lists of information more quickly. A large swipe on the Siri remote automatically activates the new scrolling mode, and a swipe on the far right side of the remote allows users to navigate specific indexes.

It's likely there are other small feature tweaks and bug fixes included in tvOS 10.2, even though additional changes have not been specifically outlined by Apple. We'll update this post should any new content be found in the fourth tvOS 10.2 beta.
Apple today seeded the third beta of an upcoming tvOS 10.2 update to developers for testing purposes, two weeks after seeding the second tvOS 10.2 update and nearly a month after releasing tvOS 10.1.1, the current release version of tvOS.

Designed for the fourth-generation Apple TV, the third tvOS 10.2 beta can be obtained by connecting the Apple TV to a computer with a USB-C to USB-A cable, downloading and installing the software from a registered developer account via iTunes or Apple Configurator. Once a profile is installed, subsequent betas can be downloaded over the air.

Given the tricky installation requirements, tvOS betas are limited to developers and will not be provided to the public.

tvos-10-2-beta
According to Apple's release notes, tvOS 10.2 introduces improved scrolling behavior, allowing tvOS users to scroll through large lists of information more quickly. A large swipe on the Siri remote automatically activates the new scrolling mode, and a swipe on the far right side of the remote allows users to navigate specific indexes.

It's likely there are other small feature tweaks and bug fixes included in tvOS 10.2, even though additional changes have not been specifically outlined by Apple. We'll update this post should any new content be found in the third tvOS 10.2 beta.
Apple is currently testing a new, fifth-generation Apple TV capable of streaming Ultra HD 4K video, according to a report released on Thursday.

The new Apple TV is internally codenamed "J105" and is able to output content in more vivid colors, according to Bloomberg. The fifth-gen device may release as soon as this year, with Apple's recent hiring of former Amazon Fire TV unit chief Timothy D. Twerdhal said to indicate a renewed focus on the set-top box.


Twerdhal's arrival comes as the company tests a new, fifth-generation Apple TV that it may release as soon as this year. Internally codenamed "J105," the new box will be capable of streaming ultra-high-definition 4K and more vivid colors, according to people familiar with the plans.
Details on Apple's intentions for its set-top box have been scant in recent months, with the last rumor that it was readying a new model appearing as far back as December 2015. Today's new disclosure appears as part of an investigation into Apple's apparent inability to keep pace with rivals like Amazon and Roku in the TV streaming market. According to Bloomberg's sources, Apple engineers have been forced to compromise "time and again" on Steve Jobs' original vision of revolutionizing the living room.

Originally, the Apple TV was meant to replace the ungainly set-top boxes supplied by cable companies and allow owners to stream live television, but Apple's failure to secure deals with the major cable channels left Cupertino unable to push ahead with its TV plans. According to the report, that left the Apple TV team debating other options, such as including a game controller with the fourth-gen model to better compete with Microsoft's Xbox and the Sony PlayStation, but that ultimately fell through because of cost concerns.

Apple also reportedly passed on including a more expensive 4K-capable chip in the fourth-gen Apple TV because it would be forced to accept lower margins. This left the set-top box more akin to a "giant iPhone", consisting of a cluster of apps and an App Store.
"That's not what I signed up for," says one of the people, who requested anonymity to talk freely about internal company matters. "I signed up for revolutionary. We got evolutionary."
Apple has never revealed how many Apple TVs it has sold, although Apple CFO Luca Maestri recently admitted that sales had decreased year-over-year during the 2016 holiday period, while market research suggests the fourth-generation Apple TV has been losing market share to cheaper Amazon and Roku boxes since its launch in the fall of 2015.

Steve Jobs' ambitions in the TV space have become almost legendary since his passing, but little has been achieved by Apple to realize his vision, which originally included an Apple-branded television set. Jobs previewed the first Apple TV in 2006, when the device was only able to stream iTunes video from a Mac to a TV. When he stepped down from his position as Apple CEO on August 24, 2011 due to illness, he intended to work on an Apple television that would re-invent living room entertainment.

After Jobs' death, Apple tried to gain a stronger foothold in this regard, but the company failed to secure the cable channel deals that would allow it to create the full integrated television programming experience and TV set that Jobs envisioned, and since that time it has relied on the fourth-generation Apple TV, with App Store and Siri integration, as a makeweight solution.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has repeatedly asserted in the past that "the future of TV is apps", but such a vision is difficult to realize in the context of a fully unified user experience. Apple TV users still have to buy individual TV episodes via the iTunes Store, pay extra for services such as Hulu, and download apps linked to specific channels, after which they must log in with their existing cable subscriptions.

According to the Bloomberg report, by all accounts, Apple's efforts to position the Apple TV as a streaming and distribution platform for other content providers have failed. Whether or not a 4K-capable device can bring about a resurgence in its ambitions for the living room remains to be seen.

You can read the full Bloomberg report here.
Entertainment network Epix today launched an app for the fourth-generation Apple TV, allowing anyone who is subscribed to Epix through a cable provider access to the service's collection of premium film and television content (via Variety).

For those who haven't signed up for Epix yet and download the Apple TV app, they can get a four week free trial to test out the service, but afterwards will have to go through the same cable TV provider sign-up process if they wish to continue using Epix.


Although it's taken a few years to launch, Epix CEO Mark Greenberg mentioned in a statement that the company is now "proud" to have its catalogue of content available for Apple TV users. The content includes around 2,000 movies and original television shows like "Berlin Station" and "Graves."
“Apple has been a renowned leader in shaping the digital landscape and I’m proud to make our content available on Apple TV,” Mark Greenberg, Epix’s president and CEO, said in a prepared statement.
The Apple TV app will allow Epix users to watch live TV, add videos to a queue, browse movie trailers, and more. Those interested in ordering Epix can visit the company's website to find out how to do so through compatible paid-TV providers.
Apple has hired Timothy D. Twerdahl, the general manager and director of Amazon's Fire TV business, to be the vice president in charge of Apple TV product marketing, reports Bloomberg. Twerdahl joined Apple earlier this month.


Twerdahl has been in charge of Fire TV since 2013, overseeing two generations of the product and its rise as one of the more popular internet-connected set-top boxes. At Apple, Twerdahl will report to Greg Joswiak, VP of iOS and iPhone Product Marketing.

The move will allow Pete Distad, the former head of Apple TV product marketing, to concentrate on helping Apple land content deals, which are headed by Eddy Cue. Before joining Apple in 2013, Distad was senior vice president of content distribution at Hulu.

Having Distad join content negotiations is intended to shore up content for Apple TV, according to Bloomberg, as efforts to secure exclusive content deals for Apple TV have stalled in the past due to failed negotiations.

With the fourth-generation Apple TV, Apple was originally aiming to provide a full a la carte television service that could replace traditional cable and satellite packages, similar to Sony's PlayStation Vue service. However, Apple unsurprisingly saw pushback from both content and cable companies after using negotiating tactics described as "assertive" and "hard-nosed," declining to back down from the terms the company wanted. Apple scaled back its TV ambitions in the past couple of years, though it considered both a slimmed-down subscription service and purchasing Time Warner.

In addition to leading product marketing for the Fire TV, Twerdahl was also the senior director of internet TV at Netflix and a vice president of consumer devices at Roku, according to his LinkedIn.
Apple today seeded the second beta of an upcoming tvOS 10.2 update to developers for testing purposes, two weeks after seeding the first tvOS 10.2 update and more than two weeks after releasing tvOS 10.1.1, the current release version of tvOS.

Designed for the fourth-generation Apple TV, the second tvOS 10.2 beta can be obtained by connecting the Apple TV to a computer with a USB-C to USB-A cable, downloading and installing the software from a registered developer account via iTunes or Apple Configurator. Once a profile is installed, subsequent betas can be downloaded over the air.

Given the tricky installation requirements, tvOS betas are limited to developers and will not be provided to the public.

tvos-10-2-beta
According to Apple's release notes, tvOS 10.2 introduces improved scrolling behavior, allowing tvOS users to scroll through large lists of information more quickly. A large swipe on the Siri remote automatically activates the new scrolling mode, and a swipe on the far right side of the remote allows users to navigate specific indexes.

It's likely there are other small feature tweaks and bug fixes included in tvOS 10.2, even though additional changes have not been specifically outlined by Apple. We'll update this post should any new content be found in the second tvOS 10.2 beta.
Apple-Music-Android-iconDuring today's earnings call covering the first fiscal quarter of 2017, Apple CEO Tim Cook was asked about Apple's next moves when it comes to the television, such as original programming, where the company has been experimenting with content for its Apple Music service.

Cook didn't have too much to say on the subject, but he said Apple has a "toe in the water" and will see how things play out going forward. Cook believes the media industry will continue to evolve as the cable model breaks down, perhaps leading to new opportunities.
In terms of original content, we've put our toe in the water doing some original content for Apple Music, and that will be rolling out throughout the year. We're learning from that and we'll go from there.
He went on to say that the Apple TV has gone a long way in the year that it's been available for purchase, and has provided Apple with a "clear platform" to "build off of." Earlier in the call, he said Apple now has 150 million paid subscriptions for first and third-party services, and that's an area where Apple "participates economically" by providing the platform.

Apple is working on several shows that will be used to promote Apple Music, including Carpool Karaoke, a reality television series based on James Corden's Carpool Karoke bit during the "Late Late Show," and "Vital Signs," a drama that will star Dr. Dre. Neither show has an air date as of yet, but as Cook says, they're coming soon.

Cook ended the question by saying "With our toe in the water, we're learning a lot about the original content business and thinking of ways we could play in that."
hbogoHBO today updated its HBO GO app for iOS devices and the Apple TV with support for Single sign-on, allowing subscribers to access HBO content more quickly.

With Single sign-on, HBO customers will no longer need to enter their cable credentials separately when logging in to the HBO GO app. Instead, the app will use universal credentials that are stored by Apple. HBO GO is also now available in the TV app, with full support for "Watch Next" tracking functionality.

Single sign-on, introduced in December, is one of the first steps Apple has made towards streamlining the television watching experience on the Apple TV and iOS devices. It's designed to allow all cable subscribers to sign in once with their cable credentials to gain access to all cable-restricted content available within apps.

Single sign-on is limited to the United States and requires both service providers and app developers to implement support for the feature. Along with HBO, more than 20 popular television apps support the Single sign-on, with a full list available via a Single sign-on support document.

Not all cable providers are offering support for Single sign-on yet, so the feature is limited to Cable ONE, CenturyLink Prism, DIRECTV, Dish, GVTC, GTA, Hawaiian Telcom, Hotwire, MetroCast, Service Electric, and Sling TV.