New Apple TV May Debut Next Week with A12 Power

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The iPhone 11 may be the star of Apple's Sept. 10 press event, but no one believes it's going to be the only new piece of hardware the company announces that day. The question, with less than a week before the big event, is what joins Apple's latest iPhone on stage at the Steve Jobs theater.

The answer could be a refreshed version of the Apple TV, at least if you believe a tweet posted by a Twitter account with a penchant for posting the codenames of upcoming Apple hardware. In a tweet today, @never_released claimed that a new Apple TV is coming that will feature an A12 chipset inside.

That would be an upgrade from the current Apple TV lineup. The Apple TV 4K runs on an A10X Fusion chip, while the less expensive Apple TV HD has an A8 chip inside.

The idea of a new Apple TV makes sense, and not just because MacRumors spotted the model identifier and code name cited in the @never_released tweet in an internal build of iOS 13. Releasing an Apple TV this year would fit into Apple's pattern of product launches while also fitting in with its strategy of launching new subscription-based services.

The last Apple TV model came out two years ago, when Apple unveiled the new set-top box at the same event where the iPhone X made its debut. The fourth-generation Apple TV came out two years earlier in 2015, while a refresh of the third-generation set-top box launched two years before that. Apple seems to have a penchant for coming out with a new Apple TV every couple years is the point we're driving at.

Apple would also be well-served by coming out with a new Apple TV this year, since the company is gearing up to launch a pair of subscription services in the fall. Apple Arcade, Apple's gaming service, promises access to more than 100 games you can play on Apple devices, and the company's upcoming tvOS update features Apple Arcade integration among its new features.

Also coming this fall — reportedly in November — is Apple TV+, a streaming service which will deliver original programming from the likes of Steven Spielberg, Reese Witherspoon, Oprah Winfrey and other Hollywood heavyweights. Having new hardware to stream all those shows may help convince people that Apple TV+ is worth its rumored $9.99-a-month cost.

Should the Apple TV join the iPhone 11 at Apple's Sept. 10 press event, the stage could potentially be pretty crowded. It's widely expected that Apple will show off a new Apple Watch 5 at the show, and a number of reports point to a key-tracking accessory making its debut, too.

That's before we even get to rumors of a new MacBook Pro and new iPads, though those could always launch at a separate event in October.

Philip Michaels

Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.