Home / iOS / Fifth-gen Apple TV features, tech specs & UK price rumours: Apple hires an Amazon Fire TV exec to head up Apple TV

Fifth-gen Apple TV features, tech specs & UK price rumours: Apple hires an Amazon Fire TV exec to head up Apple TV

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When will Apple release the next Apple TV – the 5th-generation Apple TV, or Apple TV 5 – in the UK? And what new features, tech specs, UK price and design changes should we expect from the new 5G Apple TV for 2017?

The fourth-gen Apple TV – the first Apple TV device to allow users to install apps – was unveiled by Apple at the iPhone 6s launch event on 9 September 2015, and went on sale weeks later. More than 16 months later, we’re eagerly looking ahead to the launch of the next, fifth-gen (5G) Apple TV. Indeed, there are already rumours that a next-generation Apple TV might arrive in 2017: perhaps even a special model to celebrate the Apple TV’s 10th birthday.

In this article we gather all the evidence related to the fifth-gen Apple TV’s release date, as well as reporting on all the rumours and clues about the 2017 Apple TV’s new features, tech specs, UK price and design changes. However, if you’re still interested in the Apple TV that’s available right now, we’ve got plenty of information about the 2015 Apple TV, including pricing and the best places to buy. And don’t forget our Apple TV buying guide 2017.

Updated 8 February 2017, to discuss the new head of Apple TV; 1 February 2017, to include Q1 2017 financial results revealing a drop in Apple TV sales; January 2017, to discuss the chances of an anniversary update as the Apple TV turns 10; and to include the news that the third-gen Apple TV has been discontinued.

New Apple TV 2017 release date rumours UK: When will Apple release the 5th-gen Apple TV?

We expect Apple to release the next-gen Apple TV in 2017 to tie in with the product’s 10th anniversary, but there has been no official announcement.

Here’s when the four generations of Apple TV launched:

  • 1st-gen Apple TV: January 2007
  • 2nd-gen Apple TV: September 2010
  • 3rd-gen Apple TV: March 2012
  • 4th-gen Apple TV: September 2015

Evidently, Apple updates its Apple TV less often than its iPhones, iPads and Macs: there was a three-and-a-half-year wait between the first and second models, and between the third and fourth. Based on that, it would be reasonable to expect the 5th-gen Apple TV to appear in 2018 or even 2019, and we certainly don’t have firm evidence to dispute that.

But our instincts tell us that the Apple TV’s position and status in the company’s portfolio of products has changed. It used to be a sideline and a hobby, but with the growing importance of streaming media and smart-home applications, and with the arrival on the platform of games and its own App Store, Apple TV is moving to centre stage.

And we’re not the only ones to think Apple is likely to start updating the TV more frequently from now on.

A report (link for subscribers only) in DigiTimes last year predicted that the fifth-generation Apple TV would go into trial production as early as December 2015, with volume production starting in the first quarter of 2016. Changes were said to include a dramatically improved hardware performance and new functions “to help it no longer serve only as a set-top box”.

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