Bloomberg reiterates new Apple TV incoming, April introduction and Christmas launch


Following our reports in recent months that Apple was looking to introduce a revamped Apple TV set-top box sometime around the month of March, Bloomberg is out with its own report today confirming much of what we’ve already reported. The report claims Apple is currently planning to launch the new Apple TV set-top box as early as April:

Apple Inc. (AAPL) is planning to introduce a new Apple TV set-top box as early as April and is negotiating with Time Warner Cable Inc. and other potential partners to add video content, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

In January we reported that Apple was working testing the new box that could include a revamped operating system and possibly app and game support for sometime in the first half of 2014. We also reported that Apple was testing upgraded hardware that included built-in AirPort Express 802.11ac router functionality and versions that include a built-in TV tuner to control existing cable boxes. Most recently we reported that code in recent builds of iOS 7 point to refreshed hardware, at least internally. Bloomberg today confirmed a couple of the same details including a new interface for navigating content. It also said the hardware will include a faster processor.

Bloomberg adds that a launch of the product is currently planned for Christmas but that might change if Apple isn’t able to nail down deals with content partners in time. Content from Time Warner has been rumored to be arriving soon for quite a while now, but negotiations are still ongoing according to Bloomberg’s report from today.

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  1. I don’t think that long lead time of announcement ahead of shipping is a good idea. Apple is famous and notorious for shipping at or around the time of reveal. They’ve been slipping on that lately. I’d hate to see them turn into everybody else and announce things a year in advance or even announce things that never ship. If it’s not coming until December, don’t tell us until October at the earliest.

    • Pete Taylor - 9 years ago

      Might it be possible for Apple to have a two model strategy for Apple TV? The main unit would have all the bells and whistles we’ve recently heard about and the cheaper, wireless daisy chained unit(s), would only stream all those features to the other TV’s. If the first unit were say, $299 (fully loaded model) and the wireless daisy chained units were only $99 (barebones like gen 3 is today with maybe an upgraded processor) I believe Apple might be able to pull it off it were to get the content deals wrapped up.

    • eswinson - 9 years ago

      My guess is they will need lead time to get app developers on board and apps int the store.

      • That was going to be my guess as well.

      • Allen Buck - 9 years ago

        Was thinking the same thing. iPhone games would be a cinch to port, but would still require controls etc.

  2. hmurchison - 9 years ago

    I’m betting on

    Two Apple TV models
    11ac for both
    HDMI Passthru (2.0 for fall device)
    UHD 4K HEVC support (for fall device)
    Gaming and App Store support (for fall device)

    Refreshed model of Gen 3 ships April. Fall model ships with iOS 8.

    • PMZanetti - 9 years ago

      How is it even remotely possible that anyone still postulates such ridiculous notions of Apple introducing the latest greatest Product update….and then a few months later out-doing themselves with another update? Its not realistic at all, nor would it ever happen.

      The only example of this to EVER occur is iPad 3 > to iPad 4 and that can’t even really count as example since it was hardly any upgrade at all, and was completely under the radar…under the shadow of iPad mini….intentionally.

      • hmurchison - 9 years ago

        Because it’s pretty clear the Apple TV lineup is going to become a family likely bifurcated by two models. A low end $99 and a higher end model. The agreements in place for content have probably not all come together and even the hardware may take a bit. UHD is a must and Broadcom just announced some good refreshes to their HEVC/UHD platform. I even think the chassis will be different. Apple TV 4K will likely be a box that’s twice as large.

        I also believe 9to5 when they say that a router is going to be integrated. It makes sense to reduce the latency for gaming.

        Not everyone will care about the extra features so the current model simply gets a refreshed chipset adding 11ac and a few other things and the heavy lifting happens for the 4K model.

      • mhkobe - 9 years ago

        iPad 3 to iPad 4 was a huge upgrade internally. Just look at the way each of them run iOS 7.

      • PMZanetti - 9 years ago


        How is that pretty clear? How does it make any sense at all? There is no need for a “family” of AppleTV. None whatsoever. One device can handle any plans Apple has. The only way this would happen would be if the new AppleTV contained a lot of expensive hardware, and required a price point of $199….at which point the CURRENT AppleTV would remain in existence at $99. This precludes any announcement of a $199 model 7 to 8 months in advance of shipping.


        You missed the entire point of the statement..clearly the iPad 4 was an internal upgrade, but it was not a big deal at all, and was totally overshadowed by the actual ‘big deal’ that was announced…the iPad mini.

  3. PMZanetti - 9 years ago

    Christmas? I’m certain Bloomberg is wrong about Apple announcing ANYTHING in April and waiting til Christmas to ship.

    Far more likely is the new Hardware/Software will ship in April, and CONTENT (aka cable company content) will roll out by year’s end.

    If Apple doesn’t have a Q1 product to offer, or at the very least EARLY Q2, this is gonna be another bad bad year for APPL and the general feeling toward their innovation stagnation.

  4. Barry Wulfe - 9 years ago

    Unless it is a completely new device (divergent from current AppleTV) requiring FCC approval and at a substantially higher price-point; I can’t imagine Apple announcing a new AppleTV 7-8 months in advance of delivery. Aside from killing off sales of the current model; you want to limit the ability of competition to steal ideas and bring competing technology to the market at the same time, or sooner.

    Rare examples exist; such as the original iPhone (required public disclosure via FCC application process) and the new MacPro (deflating frustration among pro-level users over the lack of any concrete news of updates; thus preventing partial abandonment of the platform.) Other than situations such as these; Apple has always held information about upcoming product releases extremely close to the vest. I see no reason for such a device to change their strategy.

    • hmurchison - 9 years ago

      App Store for Apple TV is going to required a SDK complete with graphics optimized for 10ft viewing. Developers are going to need time to prepare their games and other apps for yet another platform. Makes total sense to talk about the Hardware and then promise a SDK at WWDC and let developers work so that you hit the ground running with lots of apps and services.

  5. rottenbittenfruit - 9 years ago

    Christmas launch?! They have to be kidding. Why even bother to announce a $99 product with that much lead time. Can I get it for half-price if I pre-order in April?

    • Oflife - 9 years ago

      Content and app developers! April announcements, June dev conference, Xmas launch ready with TV friendly games and content. V sensible by Apple.

  6. Peter Benson - 9 years ago

    I don’t want anything to interface with or control my current cable box, because I don’t have one any more and don’t plan on going back.

    Incorporating a OTA tuner would be a useful addition to me so I could stop fiddling with my TV’s “source” button. But what I really hope is that Apple can break the media/cable companies lock on content, and allow me to view (and pay for, if necessary) what I want, when I want it, with a dead-simple interface. That is what the world is yearning and waiting for, whether they know it yet or not.

    • PMZanetti - 9 years ago

      Far more likely is that Apple wants Apps-as-Channels…direct access to network programming through an ala carte App download/subscription model per App/Network. This model is what has taken years to prove its worth and strike deals.

      • Mr. Grey (@mister_grey) - 9 years ago

        I agree, but what I find confusing is that they already have this. This is basically a description of what Apple TV is today.

        For this reason, all this talk of “apps” on AppleTV and “giving developers time” to develop them that yo use whenever there is a post about AppleTV make no sense at all. There already are apps for content streams. You already *can* play games on AppleTV. And the idea that somehow it will be a better device if it has a cable TV passthrough on it is just completely ridiculous.

        In other words the entire report from Bloomberg talked about here either makes no sense at all or is just plain old incorrect.

      • PMZanetti - 9 years ago


        I think the point is, yes, this is exactly what AppleTV is now…except that every single content deal is one that gets worked out privately and individually…and then the App itself becomes a joint project between both parties.

        What has taken forever is a business model / licensing deal that will be open to all networks and studios, as well as an SDK, to produce these “App Channels” that can do whatever the networks want them to do.

        But, at the same time, Apple doesn’t want it to suck. They don’t networks running wild and gouging customers, or offering limited content, or requiring a cable subscription to even use the app with no other alternative. HBO Go finally broke away from that requirement, and that In-App Purchase subscription ala carte model is what Apple wants the consumer to have.

        With of course, a 70/30 split and all payments handled by iTunes.

  7. J B - 9 years ago

    What ever happened to responsible reporting? Rumors from one website plus rumors from another does not make it fact. You’re feeding off each other’s BS. Take enough potshots in the air and eventually you’re going to hit a duck. Then you will all be sitting around the dining table, congratulating yourselves on what fine marksmen you are.

  8. Gardiner Reynolds - 9 years ago

    If the new hardware model info is already showing in iOS 7 Betas, there is no way they would wait that long. I expect it to launch in March along with iOS7.1.

    • PMZanetti - 9 years ago

      Absolutely. At the same time, they will announce what amounts to the AppleTV SDK, and start developers on the road. It will take months for Apps to be developed, approved, and released. Small numbers at first, larger numbers by year’s end.

      Developers will include major networks.

      • rahhbriley - 9 years ago

        Boom. Finally a conversation that is simple and on point. Agree with ya both. Reading the article I truly thought I missed something at first, the mention of a Spring announcement with Xmas launch is rediculously off base. SDK scenario makes most sense to me.

  9. Leonardo - 9 years ago

    Apple TV… for a moment i thought it was talking about the iTV.

  10. Janet Jones - 9 years ago

    Strange, not sure what to think. Tim Cook keeps preaching new products and new categories coming this year. I personally don’t buy it. We will be lucky to see anything really new from apple this year other than new size iPhones, IF we do, it’ll be right at the end of the year. IT’s going to be another long dry Winter and Spring from apple.

    • Luis Lopes - 9 years ago

      It has been a sort of dry Era since Jobs…….

      Disruption is a forgotten word in Apple`s dictionary!

  11. Mark Granger - 9 years ago

    An April intro and a Christmas launch means apps. That way the devs have enough time to create some nice games for the intro. My guess would be that current Apple TVs and iPads can be used to prototype the apps. I just hope Apple releases a game controller at the intro.

  12. Pierre Calixte - 9 years ago

    Ok so apple wants to sell an all-in-one entertainment box….live tv, streaming tv, games, and dvr. It’s the HTPC of the Mac world.

  13. Bryant NorCal - 9 years ago

    Time Warner may be sold to Comcast so see where that goes app wise. I cant wait for the new Apple TV, tired of using my Wii!

  14. Luis Lopes - 9 years ago

    Im waiting for the day Apple Tv becomes more than a secondary product.
    My Tv is becoming more useless everyday!


Avatar for Jordan Kahn Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s Logic Pros series.