New Apple TV remote could hint at hardware refresh later this year

Apple TV Remote
(Image credit: Future)

If Apple releases a new Apple TV in 2021, it will very likely come with an improved remote that will offer improved Siri functionality and the one thing Apple TV owners really want: more physical buttons and fewer touchpads. 

There’s nothing confirmed from Apple at this point, but 9to5Mac says that it has learned about the existence of the remote (codename ‘B519’) from one of its sources that will replace the ‘B439’ Siri Remote that’s currently shipping with both the Apple TV HD and Apple TV 4K today.

Corroborating 9to5Mac’s reporting, MacRumors also noted that Apple removed all mentions of the words “Siri Remote” from its tvOS 14.5 beta that’s rolling out to developers and have replaced it with the more generic “Apple TV Remote” verbiage. 

It’s not much, but it could be another indication that a change is coming.

Flip the switch on the Apple TV remote 

So when will we see a new Apple TV remote? It’s hard to say for certain, but should all the plans come together in time, it’s possible that we’ll see the new hardware at the all-digital WWDC 2021 that was recently announced and out on store shelves by the end of the year.

Since the launch of the Apple TV HD back in 2015, the Apple TV Remote has been a divisive subject – some reviewers and owners loved the minimalist design of it, while others (us included) had a hard time adapting to the touch-sensitive directional pad.

It’s unclear how much of the remote would change in the latest iteration; however, any sort of change would be a welcome one at this point.

For now, we’ll just have to see what June 7 – the starting day of WWDC 2021 – will bring.

Nick Pino

Nick Pino is Managing Editor, TV and AV for TechRadar's sister site, Tom's Guide. Previously, he was the Senior Editor of Home Entertainment at TechRadar, covering TVs, headphones, speakers, video games, VR and streaming devices. He's also written for GamesRadar+, Official Xbox Magazine, PC Gamer and other outlets over the last decade, and he has a degree in computer science he's not using if anyone wants it.