The paint on the fourth generation Apple TV is hardly dry, but this hasn't stopped chatter in the supply chain from focusing on a refresh of Apple's set top box. According to Taiwan-based DigiTimes Apple is working on significant changes to the Apple TV, which could arrive in consumers' hands by spring.
The publication points to Apple starting trial production of the fifth generation Apple TV later this month, with full manufacturing to ramp up at Quanta Computer during the first quarter of 2016. The new model would include an upgrade to the A8 processor found in the current Apple TV, along with a "heat-dissipation solution" to keep temperatures under control inside the device.
Interestingly, the report indicates the new processor will "add new functions" and the Apple TV will serve as more than just a set top box. The Apple TV 4G has already added gaming and app capabilities, with third-party software available through the App Store. It's possible that Apple has its sights on 4K video output, which could debut on the next generation Apple TV. Apple is expected to sell 20 million units in 2016.
Competition is heating up in the TV market. Amazon recently released the Fire TV to give Roku, Google, and Apple a run for their money in the streaming media player and gaming space. The Fire TV features 4K ultra HD output and voice search.