Apple TV channel The Beatles (image 001)

Mark Gurman of 9to5Mac did a nice job discovering some hidden references to an unreleased Apple TV hardware in the iOS 7 code. Specifically, the strings mention ‘Apple TV 4,1’, which indicates a major refresh to the Apple TV hardware. By comparison, the current third-generation Apple TV has a designation of ‘Apple TV 3,1’.

This is yet another indication that Apple could refresh the Apple TV box later this year, as some rumors have predicted. The current $99 set-top box was last updated 705 days ago…

Gurman writes:

The reference is inside of an Apple TV framework related to the device’s AirPlay functionality. The mention of the next Apple TV is the highlighted “AppleTV4,1.” The current Apple TV is “AppleTV3,2″ while “3,1″ is the 1080P model introduced in March 2012, and 2,1 is the first iOS model introduced in September 2010.

The reference to the next-generation Apple TV actually first appeared in iOS 7.0 back in September 2013, but hasn’t been discovered until now.

The ‘Apple TV 4,1’ nomenclature not only confirms there’s a new hardware in the works, it also indicates that the device will see “notable changes” in terms of internal components, Gurman postulates.


Conveniently, these code hooks have also been discovered in the iOS 7′s new Game Controller framework, suggesting that the next Apple TV may indeed support game controllers, as suspected.

The rumor-mill has also called for a built-in AirPort Express router and TV tuner.

And if games for the set-top box are in the works, it’s fairly safe to assume there will be an SDK for third-party developers and an Apple TV App Store of sorts.

Earlier this morning, Apple deployed a new Apple TV channel celebrating the 50th anniversary of The Beatles on the 1964 Ed Sullivan Show.

  • sharp44MAG .

    The Apple TV was last updated on March 7th, 2012. Almost 2 years ago so I definitely think Apple will refresh it this year.

  • Framboogle

    Bring on the 4K iTV.

    • ✪ aidan harris ✪

      Set top boxes definitely make more sense. You don’t need to upgrade you’re television all of the time you just buy a new box. The manufacturing costs are likely significantly cheaper too…

  • Vladislav Deimonts

    I’m enough of the 3rd one 😉

  • AndroidDogHeatandSteelersFan

    Don’t buy apple tv 3rd gen… it’s bad.

    • Jonathan

      Why that, Android dude?

      • AndroidDogHeatandSteelersFan

        Because of netflix and airplay issues. I had to get a replacement and it still happened. And apple rolls out support for the apple tv 3rd gen slow. It seems non existence. Look at what nonchalont has to say below. Also, I own many Apple devices and some Android, sometimes prefer Apple over the other in terms of professionalism and productivity. So I’m not entirely an android dude.

      • Jonathan

        Well, see my reply then to another comment of yours.

      • AndroidDogHeatandSteelersFan

        I just replied to it. thanks for the input.

      • zac bishop

        It may not be your Apple tv, it could be your ISP throttling Netflix. But with airplay issues my Apple TV also has that problem.

      • AndroidDogHeatandSteelersFan

        I don’t think it is throttling my netflix because I have streamed it perfectly and even in HD on other devices like the xbox, ps3, mba, iphone, ipad. And the Apple tv even connected wired has problem ? that shouldn’t be the case.

    • nonchalont

      I love my 3rd gen. Works great! Had to restart a couple times due to airplay issues but no biggie; that’s technology for you, it’s never flawless. I can’t wait for the 4th gen, especially with controller support.

      • AndroidDogHeatandSteelersFan

        You have netflix issue with it too right? The buffering problem that everybody has on the apple forums. most of us got stuck with paperweight ugh.

      • Jarryd Richards

        The buffering problems are most likely caused by the Apple TV not having gigabit Ethernet. So it won’t be as fast as a wired ps3 which does have gigabit Ethernet.

      • Zachary Sloane

        uhm, no. Not unless you have an internet connection faster than 100mbps.

      • AndroidDogHeatandSteelersFan

        But streaming netflix with my 50mbps connnection is very good, even with other consoles/devices. just not apple tv. and jarryd richards doesn’t know what hes talking about im afraid. the netflix stuttering on buffering is still a problem not fixed by apple since almost 2 years ago i think.

  • fernando

    the apple tv wit airport express will be amazing