tvOS 13.4 beta hints at upcoming Apple TV 4K hardware update

It has been a bit of time since Apple released the Apple TV 4K, and it may be time for the company to refresh the hardware.

According to the tvOS 13.4 beta code, we may be getting a hardware upgrade at some point in the near future. The current Apple TV 4K has a model number “J105a”, while the HD model has a model number “J42d”. Meanwhile, the code discovered in tvOS 13.4 hints at an Apple TV unit with a model number “T1125”.

As noted by 9to5Mac, that “T” in the number suggests this is an internal model, probably a prototype that Apple is working on. That suggests new hardware is, at the very least, in the works, but not quite finished. Does that mean Apple is definitely going to launch it? No, not quite, but it’s at least a good sign the company is working on something.

As far as what’s new? Well, that’s impossible to say. There’s only a brief mention in the tvOS 13.4 beta code, so it’s not going to give us a lot in that department. Internal files with the set-top box’s operating system suggests it will be based on the arm64e architecture, similar to what’s present in the A12 Bionic and A13 Bionic processors. The current Apple TV 4K runs on the A10 Fusion chip, so it would be a significant upgrade in that department.

A faster chip is a win-win, especially for better performing Apple Arcade games. But obviously nothing is a done deal just yet, and whatever plans Apple has could change before the company gets around to officially announcing anything. But it might be time to start preparing for a new Apple TV 4K.