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Apple TV 2021 release date, remote, price, Apple event and leaks

Apple TV 2021 release date, remote, price, Apple event and leaks
(Image credit: T3/Future)

Apple TV 2021's release date may finally be happening. After the Apple March event rumors led to nothing, an Apple event in April was confirmed. This, many surmise, could be where we get an update of the streaming box with a new A-series chipset and (hopefully) a new, easier-to-use Apple TV remote. 

The Apple TV 2021 is likely to be the same hardware as the Apple TV 4K and will run on tvOS14, released last fall, which introduced picture-in-picture mode, multiuser support for gaming and HomeKit improvements. 

Here's everything else we know about the Apple TV 2021.

Apple TV 2021 release date and Apple event news

The Apple TV 4K was released in Sept. 2017, so it's been quite awhile since Apple launched a new streaming box. 

While Apple leaker Jon Prosser said the Apple TV 2021 was "ready" to be featured in a March Apple event, that didn't happen. Now, Apple's revealed an event for April 20, titled "Spring Loaded" where it could unveil a ton of products it's got in the queue.

Apple TV 2021: Apple Event April 20

(Image credit: Apple)

It's unclear if Prosser meant the Apple TV 2021 is ready to ship or simply ready to be announced. Apple TV users could purchase a new device as early as this spring or may have to wait until later this year.

Apple TV 2021 price

The current Apple TV 4K starts at $179, which is more expensive than most comparable streaming devices. For example, the Roku Ultra, which supports 4K HDR content and comes with a voice remote, costs $99. And the Amazon Fire TV Cube, which has Alexa built in and can control your cable box, costs $119. Hopefully Apple lowers its pricing for the Apple TV 2020.

Apple TV 2021 specs

In terms of what's changing for the Apple TV 2021 may be more about video games than streaming. The first rumor we saw pointed to an overdue speed boost update, that would allow for a new processor. Signs suggests it could be either Apple's A12 or A13 Bionic chip, which are a part of the iPhone generations from 2019 and 2018. To put that in perspective, the most recent Apple TV uses A10 Fusion chip technology, which has been circulating since its 2016 debut in the iPhone 7.

Since the current processors are plenty fast for binge-watching Apple TV Plus shows, Netfix marathons and other live TV apps, this upgrade is probably meant to give the box more gaming prowess, as the Apple TV is one of the Apple Arcade platforms. 

The latest rumor, which 9to5Mac pulled from prominent YouTubers, is that the Apple TV 2021 will come in 64GB and 128GB capacities, doubling the Apple TV 4K's 32GB and 64GB drives. Again, this is most likely for games, allowing for users to keep a larger library of titles on their Apple TV, and allow for even more complex games.

Apple TV 2021 remote control

A leaked image of the new Apple TV remote

(Image credit: 9to5Mac)

We'd love to see a new Apple TV remote that doesn't rely on the touchpad (which can be finicky for some) for navigation. And leaked iOS 14 code suggests a new Apple TV remote is coming. 

A leak in the iOS 14.5 beta code shows a new Apple TV remote that would likely be a partnership between Apple and the cable providers. This would include channel and volume controls. However, we wouldn't necessarily expect this would be the default remote; it might be optional. 

Apple TV 2021 tvOS 14  features

Last fall's tvOS 14 update added or expanded several features to the platform that powers the Apple TV. Here's what the update brought:

New Control Center for HomeKit accessories: It looks similar to what's available on iOS and iPad OS. 

Multi-user support for AppleArcade: Switch between users to resume game progress and see different users' game progress, achievements and friends.

Support for more game controllers: including Xbox Elite 2 and the Xbox adaptive controller.

Picture-in-picture mode. Watch the news while using fitness apps. See who's ringing a HomeKit enabled doorbell. And now you can check out a video in 4K via AirPlay from your phone or iPad.