American computing giant Apple might be planning on launching a 4K-capable variant of its Apple TV digital media player.
That’s according to a story out of Bloomberg, which cited anonymous sources “because the plans aren’t yet public.”
According to Bloomberg‘s sources, Apple is also currently testing an updated version of its TV app to better target the live-streaming market.
These latest rumours don’t come as a major surprise, as Apple CEO Tim Cook said “you’ll be hearing a lot more about tvOS later this year,” at Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference (WWDC) in June 2017.
It’s also been almost two years since the Cupertino computing titan updated its Apple TV device. The fourth generation Apple TV — which brought Siri support and an upgraded remote control — was released in October 2015.
It would, therefore, make sense to unveil updates to tvOS — Apple TV’s operating system — alongside an updated device.
While enabling 4K playback on Apple TV might seem like a simple matter of upgrading the device’s internal hardware, it’s also a matter of establishing partnership with creators that produce 4K content.
According to Bloomberg, Apple has already discussed its 4K ambitions with the content providers currently available on Apple TV.
Additionally, while video streaming giant Netflix is available on Apple TV, Tim Cook specifically mentioned Amazon Prime Video as a partner that will be supported later this year.
Apple is also reportedly in talks with movie studios to license 4K versions of films through iTunes.
Of course, it’s difficult to ignore the spectre of Apple’s purported $1 billion USD warchest set aside for original programming. There’s no need to form extensive partnerships with 4K content providers if Apple itself has the means to produce that content.
All of these reports are unconfirmed, but Apple may address these rumours at its as-yet unannounced iPhone event that will most likely take place sometime this fall.