According to a report from Bloomberg, Apple is testing a new set top box that can stream 4K Ultra High Definition video. The device, code named “J105” for now, is expected to debut later this year.
While Apple is known for being the first to market with many things, they’re fairly late in the game when it comes to 4K streaming. The feature is already offered on the newest Roku models, plus the newest Amazon Fire TV boxes, the latest Chromecast adapter, and a growing number of independent Android based streaming boxes.
Because they’re among the last to arrive with 4K streaming, many experts are predicting that Apple may try to leapfrog their competition and become among the first to offer High Dynamic Range, which allows for more vivid colors on top of the already increased streaming resolution.
A new streaming box from Apple would likely bring the company a boost in sales as more and more people are upgrading to 4K television, but would it be enough to make Apple a big player in the streaming market? Probably not. The latest research shows that Apple TV is far behind their competitors in streaming technology.
The most recent numbers from the Parks Associates research firm showed Roku as the leader in set top streaming, making up about 30% of all new streaming media players purchased in 2016. Amazon and Google each had about 22% of the market with Apple in fourth place at about 20%.
Don’t count Apple out just yet though. The company recently hired Timothy Twerdhal, the former Amazon Fire TV executive, an indication that they may be looking to increase their streaming video profile. Experts think that move could also free up Pete Distad, who last held that position, to try to bring back Apple’s planned skinny bundle OTT TV service.