Next Apple TV remote might offer far more buttons

Expect a significant Apple TV hardware update in 2021.
There’s good news for those who don’t like the current Apple TV remote, shown here.
Photo: Apple

There could soon be an alternative to the current, simple Apple TV remote. A schematic showing a rumored new version has leaked out, and it includes a wide array of buttons. It’s therefore likely to please those unhappy with the present version.

An image of the device leaked to 9to5Mac.

Apple TV remote: touchpanel vs. buttons

The design shown stands in stark contrast to the current remote. That has a minimal number of buttons, depending instead on a touchpanel to perform many functions.

The leaked design — which supposedly has the designation B519 — has no touchpanel. Instead, it offers a large central navigation wheel. Around this are all the typical buttons one often sees on TV remotes… and far more than the present one offers. And it also lacks a design quirk of the current Apple TV remote that frequently draws criticism: users will be able to easily tell if they’re holding it correctly just by feel. That’s not possible now.

The B519 version might not replace the old one, however. 9to5Mac reports it could be an alternative that Apple sells separately.

But maybe not from Apple

Mark Gurman from Bloomberg threw a bit of cold water on 9to5Mac‘s leak. He retweeted a post from Screen Times’ Sigmund Judge pointing out the supposed schematic of the Apple TV remote looks exactly like one Universal Electronics is supposedly making. This will “likely become the official remote for service providers using Apple TV as way of distributing their streaming services,” according to Judge.

Still, rumors of an updated Apple TV with a new remote have been circulating for months. Even if this isn’t it.