Apple is reportedly planning to launch a new Apple TV that supports 4K content. Bloomberg reports that Apple could launch its fifth-generation Apple TV as soon as this year, with support for “more vivid colors.” That improvement in color reproduction could be related to high dynamic range (HDR), a feature that is becoming popular on consumer 4K TVs. Bloomberg’s report doesn’t provide any additional information on the upcoming Apple TV, but it does include a lot of context around Apple’s past decisions for its TV hardware.
Apple reportedly originally wanted to replace cable set-top boxes to stream live TV, and even considered bundling a games controller to compete with Xbox or PlayStation games consoles for the living room. Bloomberg reports that the current model of the Apple TV had prototypes with coax connectors to replace the cable box and control the full TV interface. Apple reportedly planned to collect fees from viewers and share revenue with cable and media companies. Instead, Apple launched a pared down TV app in December that wasn’t capable of tapping into live cable TV signals.
Bloomberg’s report paints a picture of grand plans for the Apple TV, but a reality that has been held back by Apple’s aggressive profit margins. Apple has hired Timothy Twerdhal, former Amazon Fire TV chief, so it’s likely that the company still has aspirations to own the living room. Bloomberg’s report of a 4K Apple TV comes just days after Caavo unveiled its $400 set-top-box that’s designed to unite services from Amazon, Apple, and live cable TV into a single interface. Caavo could be a game changer for TV, and will likely provide some strong competition to Apple’s own TV plans.