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Apple testing 4K, fifth-generation Apple TV – may arrive in 2017

Apple is reportedly testing a fifth-generation Apple TV that can stream ultra high definition 4K video.

After the Apple TV fourth-generation was released in 2015, critics praised the device for its new App Store, allowing third-party developers to create apps for the TV. However, it was notable for its absence of 4K capability. Sure, ultra HD wasn’t particularly widespread, nor is it now, but it did seem like an omission considering the refresh cycle of the Apple TV which is 2-3 years.

However, now Bloomberg is reporting on a forthcoming Apple TV with this capability – and it might release as soon as this year.

The move comes after Apple hired a former Amazon Fire TV executive, and started promoting an original video series; Carpool Karaoke (though users won’t need an Apple TV for that – just Apple Music.)

The report says the device will be able to stream more vivid colors as well.

Apple’s position on the future of Apple TV is unclear. It’s frequently been reported that Apple has high ambitions for the TV. Indeed, former CEO, the late Steve Jobs, was particularly keen to revolutionize the living room.

This included streaming live TV content; providing a better device over cable companies’ unwieldy boxes. However, it’s historically failed to secure deals with cable companies over profit margins. Apparently, this was also the root of why the fourth-gen Apple TV didn’t come with a 4K chip.

However, according to this piece on 9to5Mac, the Apple TV has been losing market share to Amazon Fire and Roku boxes due to those products’ lower price tag.

Apple ended up exploring another route with its own App Store – Tim Cook described the future of TV being apps. The Bloomberg report takes an interesting angle on Apple’s TV ambitions questioning whether 4K capability will save it. While it will certainly make the Apple TV more attractive to consumers, it indicates Apple may have to return to its negotiations to provide live TV, or risk losing the living room.

Read the full Bloomberg report here.