Don’t get too excited about that unreleased Apple TV device which popped up in Monday’s iOS 6.1 release – Apple confirmed it’s just a minor internal upgrade that won’y affect product features at all. That much was expected: after all, the very ‘AppleTV 3,2’ designation indicates a minor refresh (current-gen 1080p Apple TV is being referenced as ‘AppleTV 3,1’). We kinda hoped that the new Apple TV would run third-party apps or become a full-blown television set, but Apple says ‘no’…
An Apple spokesperson said in a statement to The Next Web that ‘AppleTV 3,2’ is basically a stealth refresh:
We sometimes make component changes which require an updated model number for regulatory approval.
The component changes we made don’t affect product features and Apple TV customers will continue to have the same great user experience.
This aligns with yesterday’s FCC filing which details a slightly smaller Apple TV with a new model number A1469. At 93.78 square mm, the FCC device measures slightly smaller compared to the 98 square mm of the current third-generation model.
However, Apple says there will be no external difference in size versus the current-generation Apple TV. Heck, the set-top box even won’t be marketed as a new version, the publication has it.
Another tidbit we can glean from the FCC filing: the A1469 model has the same Wi-Fi capabilities as the current-gen Apple TV, but has a single WLAN+Bluetooth antenna (like the iPhone 5) instead of two separate antennas, via a Broadcom BCM4334 wireless chip.
Moreover, AnandTech found some strings in the new iOS 6.1 software (the Apple TV 5.2 firmware) indicating support for the A5X chip which powers Apple’s third-gen 9.7-inch iPad with Retina display.
The current-gen Apple TV with 1080p support was unveiled on March 7, 2012. The set-top box runs a variant of the iPad 2’s dual-core A5 chip fabbed on Samsung’s 32nm (die shrunk) process and with one processing core intentionally disabled.
It wasn’t immediately clear whether the mildly refreshed device Apple’s spokesperson referred to includes a new processor.
Nothing to see here folks, moving on.