When in doubt, check the source code. That’s exactly what 9to5Mac (opens in new tab) did for the tvOS 13.4 beta code and have discovered what appears to be an internal codename for a new Apple TV 4K: “T1125.”
The outlet found the codename next to the names of other Apple TV hardware - the “J105a” that’s used as a codename for the Apple TV 4K and the “J42d” that used to reference the Apple TV HD - and believes that it could point to the next-generation of Apple TV.
While we can’t be certain that T1125 is the next-gen Apple TV 4K, it does appear to be some sort of Apple TV-based hardware. Internal files in tvOS show are said to show that this T1125 device leverages the same arm64e architecture that's used by Apple’s A12 and A13 Bionic processors.
That might be because Apple is theoretically looking at what the A12 and A13 Bionic could do inside an Apple TV 4K device, you know, for science, but it could also be a hint at what’s coming next for Apple’s home entertainment hardware.
Plus, considering it’s been three years since the launch of the Apple TV 4K, the time could be right.
The Apple A13 Bionic would be a BIG upgrade
It almost goes without saying, but Apple stands a lot to gain if it decides to create a new Apple TV 4K with the A13 Bionic processor.
For comparison, the current Apple TV 4K uses the A10 Fusion chip from the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, which were introduced in 2016. The bump up to the A13 Bionic would put the new hardware on par with the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max, and that would be a pretty big step up for the yet-unannounced streaming device.
Should the next-gen Apple TV 4K get a boost in processor speed, we’d expect a new wave of Apple Arcade games hit the Apple TV App Store, better performance inside apps and potentially a better image quality depending on what Apple does to change its upscaling algorithm. That said, it’ll still likely be a 4K HDR box as Apple hasn’t invested any development in its 8K infrastructure so far.
As for when we’ll see the announcement of the hardware, it’s hard to even speculate, but Apple is rumored to have a Spring event coming up that could potentially work in terms of timing.
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