One of the things Apple was supposed to announce at WWDC in June was a new version of the Apple TV, the company’s now more than three-year-old set-top box. Days before the keynote, though, the New York Times reportedthat those plans had been postponed at the last minute because “the product was not ready.” Today, a report from Buzzfeed, the same outlet that originally reported on the WWDC plans, says that a refined version of the same box will actually be coming out in September alongside Apple’s next-generation iPhones and the final version of iOS 9.
The basic hardware sounds pretty much the same as it did back in March when the original rumors made the rounds. The new box will include a version of the A8 SoC included in the iPhone 6 and sixth-generation iPod Touch, more internal storage, Siri support, and a new remote control with some kind of integrated touchpad (I’d take anything that would save us from the endless clicking the current Apple TV requires).
Most importantly, the new Apple TV would be released alongside an SDK and app store that would open the platform up. Currently, content providers have to work with Apple to create channels which are then pushed out to everyone with an Apple TV. An app store could increase the amount and variety of content available on the device, and (alongside the gamepad APIs introduced back in iOS 7) could make the set-top box into a sort of mini game console in its own right.
What the new Apple TV would still apparently be missing is Apple’s subscription TV service, something else that has been in the works for quite some time. In May, the Wall Street Journal reported that the service would include around 25 channels and cost between $30 and $40 a month, but sources have told both Buzzfeed and Re/code that the service won’t launch until later this year or possibly some time in 2016.