It only takes a quick look at a spec sheet to know the Apple TV lags behind its competition in several key areas. It doesn’t offer 4K streaming compatibility, or even enhanced color reproduction through high-dynamic range (HDR) technology.
But that all may change by the end of this year, according to a report from Bloomberg. Apple is said to be testing its fifth-generation Apple TV, codenamed J105. The upcoming model will reportedly only be an incremental update from the previous version, but new internals would allow for the much needed UHD and HDR support.
Some engineers aren’t happy with the evolutionary approach, according to Bloomberg.
“That’s not what I signed up for,” an anonymous source told the site. “I signed up for revolutionary. We got evolutionary.”
The fourth-generation Apple TV is starting to show its age despite the strong reception it received when it launched in October 2015. That version has seen declining sales of late, and is long due for an overhaul. Every other mainstream streaming device on the market already supports 4K video content, including the Amazon Fire TV, Nvidia Shield TV, and Roku offerings.
Apple’s offering is also not a great value when comparing its specs to competitors. The Roku Premiere+, for example, comes with both 4K and HDR support for $50 less.
We should emphasize that the reports from Bloomberg should be taken with a grain of salt. Apple very rarely leaks information about its products in advance, and Bloomberg only cites “people familiar with the plans.”
Even if the fifth-generation device is only an incremental upgrade from its predecessor, it only needs to add a few features to put up a fight against its competitors. We’ll bet on a company with the reputation of Apple to win that fight almost every time.