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Updated Apple TV 4K possibly spotted in beta code

Apple may be closer to giving the Apple TV 4K a long-awaited update.

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The Apple TV 4K has been around since 2017, though now an upgrade may finally be on the horizon. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

The Apple TV 4K is a more-than-capable streamer, even two years after its September 2017 debut. That said, its A10X Fusion processor is getting a bit long in the tooth. However it looks like an update may finally be on the horizon. 

According to 9to5Mac, beta code for an upcoming version of the company's TVOS includes references for an unreleased Apple TV that appears to be using either an A12 or A13 processor. The A12 chip was introduced with the iPhone XS in 2018, while the iPhone 11 line takes advantage of the A13. 

Either processor would be a sizable upgrade over the A10X Fusion, which is a variant of the A10 chip first released in the iPhone 7

Like the current Apple TV 4K, the updated model is expected to keep a maximum resolution of 4K with HDR, though the real gains could come in gaming. Apple continues to push its Apple Arcade gaming platform across its devices, and giving developers a modern home device could help in boosting the Apple TV's appeal. 

It is unclear when exactly the new Apple TV 4K might appear, with 9to5Mac suggesting that the model they spotted is an internal prototype. One possibility is this spring, potentially alongside Apple's long-rumored iPhone SE 2 that is expected to arrive during the first half of 2020

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.