Apple is reportedly testing its fifth-generation 4K-capable Apple TV. But don’t get too excited it still might be far from the Apple TV you’re wishing to have in your living room.
The upcoming Apple TV is internally code-named “J105.” According to people with knowledge of the project, the new set-top box will be able to stream ultra-high-definition 4K TV and can deliver more vivid colors.
The 4K Apple TV might be released as soon as this year, Bloomberg reports.
Revolutionary vs. Evolutionary Apple TV
Apple does not disclose how many Apple TVs it sells annually. The indications are not that good if one will base it on eMarketer’s report that the sales of current the version of the Apple TV have decreased year-over-year.
This might not be surprising given the fact that the Apple TV is far from being spectacular. It still cannot replace the cable company’s set-top box. There was one point when Apple wanted the box to compete with PlayStation and Xbox by bundling a controller with it, but the plans were apparently dropped too.
Apple also planned to develop a new interface that will allow users access to sports and live shows but it rolled out an OS that only let viewers tap into their iTunes video library or get new content from the iTunes Store.
Steve Jobs dreamed the Apple TV to be the center of one’s living room but it’s just not delivering.
"That's not what I signed up for. I signed up for revolutionary. We got evolutionary," one of the people with knowledge of what Apple is doing told Bloomberg.
The Apple TV will be great if it’s just not another iPhone and if it will put users' needs first. However, all the shortcomings might be due to target profits. The current version of Apple TV is pricier than Amazon’s Fire TV and Roku.
Bloomberg puts the spotlight on how Apple’s negotiation with media companies to deliver a stripped-down web service has failed.
“But the two sides stumbled over cost, the composition of the bundles and negotiating tactics. The media companies blamed Apple's arrogance; Apple blamed the media companies' inflexibility. In the end, the talks fell apart, leaving Apple to tout stripped-down bundles from Sony PlayStation and DirecTV,” the report reads.
What Can Timothy D. Twerdahl Do?
Apple poached the head of Amazon’s Fire TV unit Timothy D. Twerdahl earlier this month. The move suggests that Apple still cares about what will happen to the Apple TV.
Twerdahl brings a lot of experience to the table. At the end of the day, however, Apple TV’s destiny will depend on profit margins.