Apple will reportedly unveil a new 4K-ready version of its Apple TV streaming box along with an updated version of its TV app in September.
According to Bloomberg, the TV app will be upgraded to include apps that offer livestreaming. Apple launched its TV app in 2016, but at the time it didn’t include Netflix or Amazon Prime Video, two of the most popular streaming services. Apple has since settled its differences with Amazon and announced support for its streaming service.
The updated streaming box and TV app are part of Apple’s plans to rev up its video plans, which could also include earmarking as much as $1 billion for buying original series.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple could use the budget to acquire and produce as many as 10 TV series. And the budget would be in the hands of Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, the two Sony Pictures Television executives Apple lured away in June.
“Jamie and Zack are two of the most talented TV executives in the world and have been instrumental in making this the golden age of television,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, in a statement. “We have exciting plans in store for customers and can’t wait for them to bring their expertise to Apple—there is much more to come.”
The report from Bloomberg is the latest hint that Apple is planning to finally offer 4K compatibility with its streaming box. Earlier this week, BGR spotted a tweet from iOS developer Guilherme Rambo that points out new bits of data that name-drop J105A, Apple’s apparent internal code for the upcoming 4K-enabled Apple TV, in the seventh tvOS beta.
This latest piece of evidence comes after Apple earlier this year announced the addition of Kaby Lake, Intel’s latest processor which can handle 4K digital rights management, for the new MacBooks, along with the announcement of HEVC and 4K video support.
Apple could be hoping that a new, more powerful Apple TV would help it shore up some share in a streaming box market dominated by the less expensive Roku. New research from Parks Associates shows that Roku controls 37% of the streaming box market, up from 30% during the first quarter of 2016. Meanwhile, Apple TV is only in 15% of U.S. households.
Apple competitors including Amazon, Google and Roku already do or will soon offer 4K capable streaming boxes.