New Apple TV tipped for April with cable partner content in tow

Apple TV
Will the new set-top keep the same looks?

The next version of Apple TV may be here as soon as April.

That's the word coming from Bloomberg News sources, who say Apple could "introduce" the refreshed set-top box in two months time. The aim is to have it on sale by Christmas, though that release time frame isn't secure.

The reason for its instability? Apple is reportedly working out video content deals with Time Warner Cable and other potential partners. The firms are said to be ironing out agreements on the programming and distribution front.

A deal with Time Warner would mark a first such arrangement between Apple and a pay-TV provider. While the Cupertino company has most of the key apps on Apple TV locked down, opening its App Store (or creating Apple TV's own) and securing more video content would likely help it compete against the likes of the Roku 3 and Google Chromecast.

More new Apple TV features

Time Warner Cable's live TV and on-demand app, TWC TV, is already on products like Kindle Fire tablets and Roku. It's been rumored for some time that the app would find its way to Apple TV, but that date has yet to arrive.

In addition to the new content offerings, Bloomberg's sources revealed the next Apple TV will have a faster processor than its predecessor.

An upgraded interface is also said to be part of the package. The new UI will reportedly make it easier to navigate between various content offerings.

An iOS 7 build uncovered earlier this week outed "Apple TV 4,1," a set that looks to be a significant upgrade from the current version, a.k.a. Apple TV 3,2. The jump to "4" suggests we're in for upgraded internal specs, and a reference to "Game Controller" could mean the new set-top will support a gamepad.

4,1 and the Time Warner Cable-tied box are probably one in the same, so look for a new Apple TV offering in the coming months.

Michelle Fitzsimmons

Michelle was previously a news editor at TechRadar, leading consumer tech news and reviews. Michelle is now a Content Strategist at Facebook.  A versatile, highly effective content writer and skilled editor with a keen eye for detail, Michelle is a collaborative problem solver and covered everything from smartwatches and microprocessors to VR and self-driving cars.