The new Apple TV was a long time coming, but this past September, Apple finally stepped up and gave users the fourth-generation model they’d been waiting for. With Siri support, a new touchpad remote, and the long overdue arrival of an app store, the new Apple TV represented a big step forward for Apple’s entertainment efforts. Considering how long it took to get this model, it would have seemed reasonable to think that we’re looking forward to a wait of another year – if not more – before Apple’s ready to follow that up with a still further advanced Apple TV. However, a new rumor makes it sound like the next Apple TV could be here well in advance of next September, and might deliver some notable hardware improvements on its way.
Reportedly, Apple’s already beginning a trial production run of the new Apple TV this month, and mass production could get underway as soon as January. We haven’t heard anything specific about release plans, but that early start sure implies that we could see the set-top box land much earlier than this year’s Q3 launch.
As for the hardware, we hear that Apple’s looking to give the new Apple TV a much more powerful SoC, presumably to help super-charge gaming performance. We just saw a huge step forward in Apple TV processing power as the box moved from an A5 to A8 chip, and while we don’t know if this rumor is talking about an A9 or an even more advanced chip, Apple certainly has room to step things up from the A8.
In addition to the choice of chip, we’re told that Apple is considering new heat-dissipation solutions for keeping the Apple TV cool. Whether that means a nice quiet heatsink or an active fan, we don’t yet know.