The Apple TV set-top box, expected to be announced at Apple’s Sept. 9 product launch event, was originally rumored to be unveiled in June at the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). However, that didn’t happen, and no one seemed to know why it was a no-show.
Now, though, new rumors are circulating that the absence of Apple TV at the WWDC was due to a desire by the company to push its release back so it could be ready to run on Apple’s latest iOS 9 operating system, according to an Aug. 18 report by DigitalTrends.
“The new Apple TV is expected to be the first model in the series to come with its own App Store, and a TV-optimized iOS 9 would certainly make it easier for developers already experienced with iOS to hop onboard,” the report continued.
Earlier in August, reports about the apparent September release of a new Apple TV device began to gain momentum. Apple TV, which hasn’t had any major updates since 2013, is expected to get a slimmer chassis, an updated remote and support for Apple’s Siri digital personal assistant. The device, introduced in 2007, is expected to receive a wide range of improvements, marking the first major design changes to the product since 2013.
The new Apple TV is expected to receive an improved remote that includes touch-pad controls, as well as additional integrated storage, its own App Store and a new software development kit that the company hopes will encourage developers to build new apps for the device.
Rumors about the expected next version of Apple TV swirled before WWDC, but the company instead announced its new Apple Music streaming service with a big splash, again leaving Apple TV without a refresh, at least at the time.
Apple previously made its last significant improvements to its Apple TV devices back in June 2013, when it added HBO Go and WatchESPN programming to the product, according to a previous eWEEK report. Apple also added Sky News, a 24/7 news feed for users in the United States, the United Kingdom and Ireland; Crunchyroll, the leading global video service for Japanese Anime and Asian media; and Qello, an on-demand streaming service for HD concerts and music documentaries.
Apple TV enables iTunes users to download and view video on an HDTV, as well as access their own music, videos and content.
The devices, which have arguably been the most oddball product in the iPhone maker’s entire lineup, have never become a huge success and often have received little attention from the company. In March, Apple dropped the price from $99 to $69, hoping to boost sales.
Also in March, reports began circulating that Apple’s oft-discussed Internet-based Apple streaming television services, which would be separate from Apple TV, would appear later this year. A recent report said that the new Internet TV services wouldn’t appear until sometime in 2016 at least, due to slower-than-expected negotiations with broadcasters, according to an earlier eWEEK story. The negotiations that have slowed the process apparently involve the difference in the $40 a month Apple wants to be able to charge customers, compared with the higher prices expected by TV networks for their content, the report said.
The service would have about 25 channels, including major broadcast networks, such as ABC, CBS and Fox, according to an earlier eWEEK story. The programming, which is expected to be priced from $30 to $40 per month, would be viewable on the company’s computers, smartphones and Apple TV set-top boxes.
In March 2014, Apple and Comcast, the nation’s largest cable TV provider, were in talks to build a streaming television project together, according to an earlier eWEEK report. Apple at the time was proposing a service that would let customers stream live and on-demand TV programming while also storing digital video recordings.