By Don Reisinger
September 11, 2017

Late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs famously called the Apple TV set-top box a “hobby.” But a new report suggests that Apple is eyeing a big investment in its home entertainment device.

After analyzing leaked software code, developer Steve Troughton-Smith says Apple is planning to bundle a new chip known as the A10X Fusion and 3GB of memory in a new Apple TV that the company may announce at its iPhone press event on Tuesday. The features should combine to deliver a better picture and better apps performance than the company’s current Apple TV model, which premiered in 2015 with 2GB of memory and the A8 processor.

Apple-tracking site 9to5Mac earlier reported on the developer’s findings.

Troughton-Smith’s findings come after an unidentified individual this weekend leaked the code to Apple’s upcoming software releases, including its mobile operating system iOS 11. The leaks included lines of code that point to device names, like the iPhone X for a third, high-end Apple handset this year. They also pointed to some features that could be coming to Apple’s upcoming devices, including the Apple TV.

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Apple (AAPL) has been rumored for months to be planning a new Apple TV for this year. The device, which would connect to televisions and stream content from a variety of Apple-branded and third-party apps, is expected to support 4K programming. In a nod to the new Apple TV’s adoption of this ultra-high-definition format, the iPhone maker will call the device Apple TV 4K, according to Troughton-Smith.

Bundling the A10X Fusion chip with the Apple TV would put the set-top box’s power on par with the iPad Pro tablet that Apple released earlier this year. Apple has said that the iPad Pro is more powerful than many stand-alone computers available. Tech enthusiasts who have benchmarked the iPad Pro’s power have corroborated that claim, saying it’s a surprisingly powerful tablet.

Offering what could be the same amount of power in the Apple TV should allow the set-top box to accommodate 4K programming. But the feature could also point to the possibility of Apple wanting more power to support higher-end video games to compete with traditional console makers, like Nintendo. The power could also make Apple TV compatible with more sophisticated and resource-intensive apps.

Apple has not said publicly what its plans are for future Apple TV models.

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