New Apple TV '4,1' could arrive as soon as March

References to a new Apple TV model have been discovered in developer build of iOS 7.1 signaling that new hardware could arrive sooner than expected.
Written by Jason D. O'Grady, Contributor

If you've been waiting for a new Apple TV model to come out, you might be in luck. Mentions of a new "Apple TV 4,1" have been discovered in builds of iOS 7:

New Apple TV '4,1' could arrive as soon as March - Jason O'Grady
Picture: 9to5Mac.com

Developer Hamza Sood tells 9to5Mac that references to "Apple TV4,1" were found in builds of iOS 7 signaling that Apple could be testing new Apple TV hardware more broadly. 

The current Apple TV is referred to internally as "AppleTV3,2," the 1080P model, introduced in March 2012, is referred to as "AppleTV3,1" and "AppleTV2,1" is the model introduced in September 2010.

The new "4,1" moniker indicates that the new device will remain part of the Apple TV family. The whole number jump from "3,2" to "4,1" indicates that the new hardware will likely include significant changes over the current model, although they might only be internal as has been the case with the last few revisions. 

9to5Mac also notes that recent Apple TV software builds contain references to iOS 7's new Game Controller framework, but cautions that "it is unclear if those frameworks are just left over from the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch or if they indicate confirmation of Game Controllers being able to connect to the next-generation Apple TV product."

Rumors abound that Apple is considering taking the training wheels off its Apple TV "hobby" and putting serious development resources behind it. One possibility is that Apple TV could gain TV tuner hardware and DVR functionality that would allow programs to be stored on iCloud, although those are pretty ambitious goals.

Another possibility is that the next Apple TV will inherit the App Store and real gaming functionality from iOS. At a minimum a new puck will likely include speed-bumped specs and new content channels.

A new Apple TV product is widely expected this calendar year. 9to5Mac points out that Apple announced an Apple TV in March 2012 and that iOS 7.1 has also been rumored for March so a joint announcement is possible. 

What do you want out of Apple TV? Do you have one in your current tech lineup?

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