The Apple blogosphere is rampant with news that the online retail giant Amazon somehow “confirmed” a new Apple TV hardware in a listing on its German website. Cooler heads caution northing could be further from the truth. What Amazon did is it changed availability date for the $99 Apple set-top box on Amazon.de to October 23. While this does not “confirm” or “prove” anything, the date is nonetheless interesting given Apple is set to reveal its next-generation iPad lineup next Tuesday, October 22.
Let the speculation begin…
9to5Mac first spotted that Amazon’s French and German websites are currently showing the Apple TV as out of stock, with availability ‘from 23 October’.
The change lends “a small amount of weight to suggestions that a new Apple TV will be one of the announcements at Apple’s launch event the day before,” wrote author Ben Lovejoy.
Engadget, cautioning that Amazon listings are not the most reliable of indicators, noticed that Amazon France is now offering the device again, “but with orders fulfilled by a third-party retailer rather than from its own, presumably empty, stocks”.
Apple’s invitation-only media event, according to the well-informed Wall Street Journal-owned blog AllThingsD, will see the official introduction of the iPad 5 and iPad mini 2, with other possible announcements in the cards.
Specifically, sources told writer John Paczkowski Apple will use the event to announce public availability of OS X Mavericks and talk about the next-generation Mac Pro.
For what it’s worth, Paczkowski did not hear any chatter about an Apple TV refresh, but we do know Apple has “a lot to cover” come October 22.
“I guess those excited about a software refresh in a week are gonna be *really* excited when new Apple TV hardware is unveiled next month,” his tweet reads. It’s impossible to tell the truth as we’ve literally seen no leaks whatsoever supporting the Apple TV refresh thesis (that’s why they call it a thesis, after all).
The current-generation Apple TV is definitely ripe for an update.
It was last refreshed nearly two years ago (590 days ago, to be precise) with 1080p video support. In March 2013, Apple retooled the device slightly, giving it a die-shrunk A5 chip (below), the same like its predecessor though considerably smaller and more power efficient.
Over the past few months, the company has focused on Apple TV software updates.
These have enabled a bunch of new free and paid content sources, making the device more useful than ever. That being said, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the next Apple TV should at least gain a variant of the A6 chip with faster graphics and smoother hardware decoding of 1080p content.
What we don’t expect from Apple come next Tuesday is a full-on television set.