New Apple TV 2016 release date, UK price & features

By on December 13, 2015

The 2015 Apple TV is on sale now but there are already rumours that a new model could be on the way… Here’s everything you need to know about the new Apple TV: including BBC’s iPlayer plans and Amazon’s decision to make Amazon Video available for Apple TV.


The new Apple TV was unveiled by Apple at the iPhone launch event on 9 September, at which point Apple said it would ship in October. The device became available to order from 26 October with shipments happening towards the end of the week.

Here’s everything you need to know about the new device, including how much it will cost in the UK and how you can buy the Apple TV… You can order here, and we have more information in the release date and UK price sections. Read on for more information.

But before you get too excited about the new Apple TV, there are already rumours that a next generation Apple TV might arrive in 2016!

2016 Apple TV: Release date
Apple might only just have launched the new Apple TV but rumours are already starting up about the next generation model.

According to a report in DigiTimes, the fifth-generation Apple TV will go into trial production in December, with volume production starting in the first quarter of 2016.

Changes are said to include a dramatically improved hardware performance and new functions “to help it no longer serve only as a set-top box”.

This strikes us as very unlikely, we think that there will instead be a significant software update to the Apple TV in the Spring that will have a strong emphasis on HomeKit.

2015 Apple TV, UK price, and how to buy it
You be able to purchase an Apple TV from an Apple high street store, the Apple website, or at an Apple High Street store, as well as other locations, like John Lewis.

You can order the new Apple TV from Apple’s web store here.

UK prices for the new Apple TV match our predictions: it’s £129 for the 32GB model and £169 for the 64GB version.

There’s another device you might want to know the price of because although it comes in the box, if you lose or break it you will need to replace it.

The Siri Remote comes with the Apple TV, but if you want to purchase an additional remote it will cost £65 so try not to lose it. You can also buy a £11 strap to keep it on your wrist if you are using it for motion activated gaming.

Is the Apple TV too expensive?
The older Apple TV costs £59 (it’s still available to buy here) the new model cost double that. In addition, the competition is priced far lower than the Apple TV.

Perhaps the Apple TV, now at a higher price than it was previously, is too expensive.

In addition, having long neglected the market for set top boxes, Apple has potentially lost some of the credibility in this arena, suggests Fox Business.

But does it matter if the Apple TV is too expensive? When the first Apple TV launched it was also priced excessively high as far as many were concerned, but over the year the price came down considerably. It’s entirely likely that the same will happen this time.

What really matters is whether Apple has the right solution to the problem of TV (assuming there is a problem with TV). According to Apple analyst Horace Dediu, TV has fallen by roughly 30% among the young (12-34) in the last five years, and this is the market that matters because over te next decade they will become the most influential group. “And this group does not love TV.” This is the market that the Apple TV, with its apps based interface is aimed at.

Sure it’s too expensive for this younger market currently, but ultimately these are the people who are leading the revolution in the way we consume television.

Another factor to consider is just how many TVs there are that could have an Apple TV attached to them, the number is pretty huge.

Which Apple TV should I buy? 32GB or 64GB?
There’s a big price difference between the 32GB and 64GB Apple TV. Do you really need the extra storage?

Apple’s own advice is: “If you plan to use your Apple TV primarily to stream movies, TV shows, and music or to play a few apps and games, you’ll probably be fine with 32GB of storage.”

While, “If you plan to download and use lots of apps and games, choose the 64GB configuration. Keep in mind when making your decision, that some apps, when in use, do require additional storage.” You can read more here.

Apple TV software updates and the Apple Remote app
tvOS 9.1 is now available for Apple TV. The update brings a few new features, for example Siri now offers support for Apple Music and, probably of most importance to a lot of very frustrated people, the Remote app on the iPhone now works with the Apple TV so you can use that to enter characters rather than enter passwords and search terms using Apple TV’s annoying onscreen keyboard. Thanks to the update you can also use Apple Watch’s built-in Remote app to control the Apple TV.

Speaking of the remote app, there’s also news that a Siri Remote app for the Apple TV is set to arrive next year, according to Apple senior vice president Eddy Cue.

Cue told BuzzFeed: “We’re working on a new Apple TV remote app that will give you the full functionality of the Siri Remote on your iPhone. We’re hoping to ship that in the first half of next year.”

There’s also a SiriMote app that has been designed to let you control your Mac with an Apple TV Siri Remote. You’ll be able to use the app and Siri Remote together to control playback on your Mac, but according to Apple Insider the set up is difficult.

The app is free and works with El Capitan, you can download it from Eternal Storms at eternalstorms.at.

Why you can’t buy an Apple TV on Amazon
One place you can’t buy the new Apple TV is from Amazon. The humongous online retailer is refusing to sell any devices that compete with its own TV streaming device. This means you also won’t be able to purchase the Google Chromecast from Amazon either.

Apparently this is because these devices don’t offer the Amazon Prime video streaming platform, rather than Amazon just being anti-competitive, although it could look a little like Amazon is holding these companies to ransom.

Here’s Amazon’s take on the matter, according to a report on Bloomberg: “Over the last three years, Prime Video has become an important part of Prime. It’s important that the streaming media players we sell interact well with Prime Video in order to avoid customer confusion.”

However, that may be set to change. A report in December suggests that Amazon could be bringing Amazon Video to the new Apple TV.

TechCrunch reports that iOS developer Dan Bostonweeks contacted Amazon and was told that the company is “currently working in developing a new app for the Apple TV. As we have already succeeded in developing an app for iPhone and iPad, we hope to make an app separately for the Apple TV. Hopefully, within a few weeks span, you will be able to see the Amazon Instant Video app feature on your Apple TV.”

Perhaps when the app is available for Apple TV Amazon will start selling the Apple TV – the company took it off sale as part of its strategy to sell only products that were compatible with its TV service.

We aren’t clear if there will be an Amazon Prime app for the Apple TV, which would at least bring Top Gear to that device.

Note that, at least for now, you can only download Amazon Video on the US App Store.

Apple TV: When will iPlayer arrive on the Apple TV
When the Apple TV was first announced in September we were hopeful that finally the BBC would bring iPlayer to Apple’s set top box, other than by a workaround that allows users to stream iPlayer from their iPhone or iPad to the TV using AirPlay.

However, our hopes were dashed when the BBC reportedly revealed to fans on Twitter that it had “no plans currently” to develop an iPlayer app for the Apple TV.

Not content with the BBC dragging its heals over this, a couple of developers from Dorset built their own proof of concept iPlayer app for the Apple TV in an attempt to encourage the BBC to create an iPlayer app for the new device.

The proof of concept app – which isn’t available on the App Store – is called Auntie Player. According to the report on MacRumors it took just nine hours to create the app. They created the app at the Hack to the Future event.

However, now the BBC has made an about turn and has announced that a BBC iPlayer app will come to the Apple TV “in coming months”. In an article on the BBC website the company reveals that: “The catch-up app is not ready to launch alongside the revamped set top box [which is on sale now]”.

According to the BBC article, ITV has no plans to to release an app for Apple TV.

Apple TV: What about Apple’s plans for a streaming service?
Rumours that Apple will launch a TV streaming service have been long running – we have a separate article about Apple’s streaming service plans here.

Unfortunately, for anyone who was looking forward to the launch of the service, it sounds like that will be further delayed as Apple continues to negotiate with the TV networks in the US.

The December 2015 report from Bloomberg claims that Apple is putting its plans for the streaming service on hold because the cable companies and networks are proving too resistant to the idea.

In fact Apple may ditch the idea altogether, focusing instead on offering the tvOS platform for media companies to sell their content directly to consumers via the App Store, states the Bloomberg report.

According to Bloomberg the reason for the resistance is Apple’s demand for content at a price that the networks aren’t happy with.

CBS CEO Les Moonves, who has often commented on the rumoured service, has also claimed that Apple has put the streaming service plans “on hold”, according to Bloomberg.

Previously Moonves had hinted that the rumoured Apple TV steaming service would arrive in 2015. The revelation came during an earlier interview with Bloomberg TV in which he suggested his company would soon come to an arrangement with Apple.

Moons said: “Apple is having conversations with everyone about doing their own streaming services. We have had those conversations, as have the other networks. Do I think something will happen? Probably, but I do not know when.”

This isn’t the first time Moonves has made comments about the rumoured service, earlier this year he made a similar revelation in an interview at a Re/code conference, suggesting he was in ongoing conversations with Apple.