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A 4K Apple TV set-top box may come out
Apple is reportedly debuting much more than new iPhones later this year. According to a Bloomberg report, the company will reveal an updated 4K TV box alongside the new iPhones at its rumored September event. The new Apple TV will stream 4K content and highlight "live television," including news and sports.
The ability to stream 4K content would be the biggest update that the Apple TV has seen in a while, at least in terms of hardware. Back in 2015, the Apple TV was updated with a new remote control, app store, and Siri support. The report claims the new device will have a faster processor capable of streaming 4K and HDR content. But as with any 4K set-top box, users will have to connect it to a display that's also capable of playing 4K content to reap any benefits
To accompany the new set-top box, Apple is also reportedly testing out a new version of the TV app. This was introduced last year as an app that aggregates streaming video content from various sources, making it easier for users to watch all their favorite content in one place
A 4K set-top box, display, or any hardware is useless unless there's 4K content to play on it—Bloomberg's report suggests Apple is also talking to movie studios about supplying 4K content to iTunes. Apple will need some 4K content to bolster the announcement as other competing companies, including Netflix, already have a decent amount of 4K content. A number of competing 4K set-top boxes are out there, including products from Roku and Amazon.
It's also no secret that Apple has been building an original content team that could produce new 4K content for Apple Music or the company's other services. Recently, Apple hired Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg away from Sony Pictures Television to lead the original content initiative, and the company pledged $1 billion toward "procuring and producing" original content in 2018.
Apparently, Apple wants to be as complete and thorough as possible with the launch of this new "living room" strategy. A 4K Apple TV wouldn't be as exciting if it didn't have new, original 4K content to play, and Apple's new video content needs a revamped device to call home. All of this will presumably debut this fall—right before the holiday season—along with a bunch of other new Apple products. Rumors suggest Apple will debut three new iPhone models before year's end, along with a new Apple Watch model with standalone LTE service.