Following up on last month’s claim that Apple is planning to show off a revamped Apple TV set-top box with App Store and Siri support at the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June, BuzzFeed now reports that the new box will not include support for 4K video streaming even though several services like Netflix, Amazon, and YouTube offer content in the high-resolution format.
“4K is great, but it’s still in its infancy,” said one source familiar with Apple’s thinking.
Enabling 4K video support in Apple’s first major overhaul of Apple TV in three years might seem like a smart bit of future-proofing — particularly given reports that the A8 chip in the guts of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus is 4K-capable. But it’s arguably an unnecessary one at this point.
The report points out that 4K streaming is expensive for content providers given the bandwidth required, and the vast majority of Americans do not even have Internet connectivity at fast enough speeds to support such streaming. Still, those who do currently stream 4K content or hope to in the relatively near future are likely to be disappointed by Apple’s decision to forgo support in the next Apple TV.
Beyond existing Apple TV services and new third-party apps, the revamped Apple TV is also expected to support a package of streaming television channels if Apple can manage to reach agreements with the necessary content providers. Apple is reportedly in talks with ABC, Fox, and Disney, as well as Discovery and Viacom, to try to put together a “skinny” TV package of select channels that would reportedly cost consumers somewhere in the range of $25 to $40 per month. Apple is said to be aiming to announce the service at WWDC in June and launch it in the September timeframe.