Rough mockup of fourth Apple TV vs. third Apple TV by Michael Steeber
With the official debut of the next-generation Apple TV less than two weeks away, sources have provided additional details on Apple’s pricing, availability, and product lineup plans for its set-top devices. According to sources, the fourth-generation Apple TV will be priced below $200, and is on track to become available in October. Apple executives are apparently still finalizing the price of the revamped living room device, but the latest options call for a starting price point of either $149 or $199, both higher than the third-generation Apple TV…
The new Apple TV will come at a premium price compared with the current model, which was originally priced at $99 from its launch in 2012, then was reduced to $69 this March. As the new box will be considerably more expensive than popular alternatives from Roku, Google and Amazon, Apple plans to keep the $69 third-generation device for sale as an entry level model within the Apple TV product line. The new Apple TV 4 will be very similar to the current model in appearance, but it will be thicker and slightly wider, sources say.
Apple’s next-generation Apple TV will include a number of new features to differentiate itself from the older version, including Siri support, a new remote control, an App Store with a Software Development Kit for developers, and a refreshed user interface. As soon as next year, Apple plans to release a cable-replacing streaming TV service that bundles multiple television channels for a price as low as $40 per month, but the new Apple TV will initially still require logins to cable networks to unlock content.
According to our sources, the software update that enables Apple’s cable-replacement service is currently planned to also become available for the third-generation Apple TV. However, the current model will not receive support for the upcoming App Store, nor will it be directly controllable by Siri. We will have more details on the new Apple TV’s gaming, Siri, and remote control functionality in the coming days.
Apple also plans to introduce the new iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus at its September 9th event. As we have reported, the new smartphones will include Force Touch-capable displays, a new Rose Gold color option, 12 megapixel cameras with 4K video recording support, more efficient wireless chips from Qualcomm, faster A9 processors with double the RAM and better battery life, and improved front-facing cameras for FaceTime. Apple, however, will not be introducing a new 4-inch “iPhone 6c.”