One-third of US households will have 4K TVs by 2019 (so where’s our 4K support on the Apple TV)

The fourth gen Apple TV didn’t offer 4K support, but, hopefully, that will change by the fifth generation model. Ultra-high definition (UHD) 4K LCD panels have recently experienced steep price declines, allowing 4K TV set prices to fall significantly and increasing consumer adoption and household penetration. 

By the end of 2017, most 50-inch-and-larger TVs worldwide will feature 4K resolution, according to IHS, a global source of critical information and insight. With its comparatively strong economy and consumer penchant for large-screen TVs, 4K TV household penetration in the United States will reach 34 percent in 2019.  However, unlike streaming boxes from Amazon, Roku, and Nvidia, the new Apple TV doesn’t have 4K capability. 

That’s not a major problem (yet) because most people don't actually have 4K TVs, and most programming isn't even available in 4K. However, that’s changing rapidly, and Apple likes to “future proof” its products.

According to the latest information from the IHS TV Sets Intelligence Service — which includes shipment and revenue data, average prices, average screen sizes and shipment area across 80 countries — 4K TV household penetration in the European Union is expected to reach 25 percent in 2019. Growing availability of UHD content from Internet and pay-TV providers will support this trend. 

Also, the amount of 4K content continues to grow. Netflix and Amazon are shooting their new original series in 4K, and there are some YouTube videos that show off the quality of 4K.

What’s more, I think Apple should Apple offer 4K content on the iTunes Store. This seems like a natural move. After all, the iMac with 5K Retina practically screams for such content. The MacBook Pro line comes, with one exception, with Retina displays. iPhones and iPads have Retina displays. The 12-inch MacBook has a Retina display. 

The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus can film 4K video. The new iMovie for iOS devices lets you edit that video. And an Apple Thunderbolt 5K Retina Display is a near-certainty for release in the near future (at least I think so, though I’ve been expecting one for a looooong time now).