The fourth-generation Apple TV has been available for less than two months and already talk is turning to a next-generation model.
A new report by DigiTimes, a hit-and-miss Taiwanese trade publication, cites unnamed supply chain sources as saying that a fifth-generation Apple TV with a brand new CPU and a heat-dissipation solution is entering into trial production in December and volume production in the first quarter of 2016.
The story claims that Apple will, for the first time, adopt a heat-dissipation solution for the Apple TV 5 “to handle the device’s new processor”. The present-generation Apple TV runs the A8 chip.
One could view this as Apple working on a minor Apple TV revision, possibly replacing the current A8 CPU with a more energy-efficient variant. After all, Apple did release a so-called Revision A update to the third-generation Apple TV in January 2013.
On the other hand, the report states that the next Apple TV will gain “new functions.” If true, that would mean that the hardware specifications of the device had been finalized, which doesn’t seem very likely.
Maybe “new functions” include 4K video output?
But more important than that, the report suggests that Apple could be putting a bigger focus on the next Apple TV as a viable alternative to dedicated game consoles in terms of hardware prowess.
“Apple is planning to adopt a new CPU for the fifth-generation Apple TV to dramatically improve the device’s hardware performance and will add new functions to help it no longer serve only as a set-top box,” reads the report.
Production of the device will reportedly be handled by Apple supplier Quanta Computer, instead of Foxconn, which assembles many Apple products.