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Apple says new Apple TV isn't redesigned, just features minor tweaks

post #1 of 121
Thread Starter 
Despite details from a new FCC filing suggesting an updated Apple TV would feature a smaller form factor, Apple has indicated that the slightly tweaked hardware will look and function just like the current model.

Apple TV


Apple provided a statement to The Verge on Wednesday in which the company downplayed speculation that a new Apple TV with a new look and experience may be forthcoming. Instead, Apple said the newly approved model is just a minor upgrade to the existing hardware.

"We sometimes make component changes which require an updated model number for regulatory approval," the company said. "The component changes we made don't affect product features and Apple TV customers will continue to have the same great user experience."

The statement comes less than a day after the U.S. Federal Communications Commission revealed an unannounced Apple TV model identified as "A1469." The filing suggested the unit's design would be slightly smaller, shrinking from 98 millimeters to 93.78 millimeters square.

The filing also revealed that the new hardware would feature a low-power 40-nanometer Broadcom wireless chip identified as BCM4334. That's the same chip already found in Apple's iPhone 5, offering both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity.

But the comments from Apple reveal any changes to the hardware will not be noticeable to end users. Evidence has suggested the new Apple TV will feature a faster A5X chip, similar to the one the company used in its third-generation iPad.

It's possible that Apple could be making the silent switch to an A5X chip in an effort to gradually ramp up production of the processor for another, more popular device. A strong candidate would be the iPad mini, which rumors have suggested will receive a high-resolution Retina display with a second-generation update later this year.

Apple used a similar approach last year when it launched the current Apple TV, a product update that added 1080p video support thanks to a shrunken A5 chip that uses the 32-nanometer manufacturing process. That same 32-nanometer chip was also placed inside the $399 iPad 2 ??a device that was previously powered by a 45-nanometer A5 chip. The new hardware, identified as "iPad2,4", saw battery life improved by as much as 16 percent thanks to the design change.

This week Apple also issued a software update for an unannounced Apple TV model. The name "AppleTV3,2" implied that the updated hardware would be a minor revision from the current 1080p-capable set-top box, which is identified in software as "AppleTV3,1".
post #2 of 121
Who is this new Apple that comments on products before they're officially unveiled?!
post #3 of 121
Am I the only one that doesn't want the next Apple TV to be smaller? The thing is a hockey puck now.
post #4 of 121
Originally Posted by allenbf View Post
Who is this new Apple that comments on products before they're officially unveiled?!

 

Same thing happened when they changed the model number on the AirPort Extreme, I believe. It's the most recent model right now.

post #5 of 121

FCC employee couldn't resist.  Thats why Apple asked that the new model be kept secret regardless of any changes.  It is Apples right.


Edited by tylerk36 - 1/30/13 at 12:20pm
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post #6 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by allenbf View Post

Who is this new Apple that comments on products before they're officially unveiled?!

Its odd, but then again, we can't expect Apple to communicate the same way they did 10 years ago. The company is a very different beast now and under new management. Changes are part of progress.

post #7 of 121
Apple might be switching to a TSMC made A5 chip to test the production quality.
post #8 of 121

Mentioned this in the other thread:

 

 

I have the 3 Apple TV 3s and can easily imagine reasons to replace them.  Here is my wish list for what information we know so far:

 

-Applications (Larger SSD- the current 8gb isn't near enough- 16gb would be adequate, 32gb preferred).  You can't have Apps with the current device because of size limitations.

-Stream internet TV- whether it be Vios or U-verse.  As mentioned in this thread- they could even do a cable company.

-Built in DVR if it has internet TV (again- with 32gb, this would be attainable.  Or at the very least, a software tweak to be able to record and store on a Mac).

-Better search functionality via remote.  Specifically Siri.  Remote looks the same with an additional button you hold, it mutes what you're watching (or turns down substantially), and you tell it what to do or search for.

 

Software related:

-Unified search across all applications (Even if they dont have apps- this should happen).

-If no apps, add some other ones- like Amazon, HBO, Pandora, CNN, ESPN, or other popular ones.

 

I'd gladly not only replace my ATVs, but pay more in the process ($199).  By the way- this would make this the best box in the market.  By a mile.  There is absolutely no reason why Apple shouldn't have all the above on the next release (with the exception of internet TV- which is just a wish, but possible).

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post #9 of 121
An unusual FCC release that Apple would have agreed to and then an official statement from Apple to The Verge. They say there will be no visual changes but the FCC filing clearly shows a new, smaller case. I can see the need for using the scrapped A5X R2 chip in the Apple TV to cut down on cost but why the case change documents and the official statement? My guess is this is a misdirect.

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post #10 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

An unusual FCC release that Apple would have agreed to and then an official statement from Apple to The Verge. They say there will be no visual changes but the FCC filing clearly shows a new, smaller case. I can see the need for using the scrapped A5X R2 chip in the Apple TV to cut down on cost but why the case change documents and the official statement? My guess is this is a misdirect.

It might be a sign of a new and chattier Apple, perhaps to help dispense with some of the rumors their typical secrecy encourages. It's been clear to me that Tim Cook is much more open than his predecessor was.

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post #11 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

It might be a sign of a new and chattier Apple, perhaps to help dispense with some of the rumors their typical secrecy encourages. It's been clear to me that Tim Cook is much more open than his predecessor was.

I don't think so. Tim Cook said he was doubling down on security and the rumours help Apple have so much mindshare with so little marketing costs.

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post #12 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

An unusual FCC release that Apple would have agreed to and then an official statement from Apple to The Verge. They say there will be no visual changes but the FCC filing clearly shows a new, smaller case. I can see the need for using the scrapped A5X R2 chip in the Apple TV to cut down on cost but why the case change documents and the official statement? My guess is this is a misdirect.

Agreed. After the FCC leak, Apple wants to put an end to the speculation of what will be in the new version. If the functionality is unchanged why the new filing with FCC? It will be interesting to see what spin they will use when it is formally announced and it does have updated functionality.

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post #13 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by allenbf View Post

Who is this new Apple that comments on products before they're officially unveiled?!

 

To manage expectations. So that their stock doesn't get punished when the whole internet is shrieking and hyping a new Apple TV, and they end up releasing one with invisible changes. I think it was a good move to release that statement. 

post #14 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Agreed. After the FCC leak, Apple wants to put an end to the speculation of what will be in the new version. If the functionality is unchanged why the new filing with FCC? It will be interesting to see what spin they will use when it is formally announced and it does have updated functionality.

The filing is clearly because of the new WiFi/BT radios which has to be tested. The casing change is inconsequential to the filing but they would have had to submit it with that change for this to make sense.

I wouldn't mind a smaller (and cheaper) Apple TV if it's a secondary option for your guest bedroom TV while there is a larger, more feature rich option (perhaps as an HDTV or a base station) in your living room. I feel there is a huge gap for the Winter/Spring because of all the updates last Autumn so I wouldn't be surprised to see a new product category get announced in the next few months.

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post #15 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


I don't think so. Tim Cook said he was doubling down on security and the rumours help Apple have so much mindshare with so little marketing costs.


It also engenders unreasonable expectations. Did you know that iPhone 6 is coming on April 1st, will have NFC, a 4 inch screen inflatable to 16 inches, a detachable keyboard, compatibility with Windows software, a SD card slot, a thunderbolt display port and a coffee grinder?

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post #16 of 121
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Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

 

To manage expectations. So that their stock doesn't get punished when the whole internet is shrieking and hyping a new Apple TV, and they end up releasing one with invisible changes. I think it was a good move to release that statement. 


Hah, beat me to it!

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post #17 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

It might be a sign of a new and chattier Apple, perhaps to help dispense with some of the rumors their typical secrecy encourages. It's been clear to me that Tim Cook is much more open than his predecessor was.

 

In his interview with Brian Williams, Cook dodged the questions pretty well but said the TV is an area of "intense interest."  Then we have an FCC filing and Apple is tripping over themselves to explain it's a spec bump?  I don't buy it.

 

As someone said, either this is a misdirect - or the new Apple is a bit too open and/or worried about stock fluctuations.

post #18 of 121
Microsoft can only dream of this kind of free publicity...
post #19 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by icoco3 View Post

Microsoft can only dream of this kind of free publicity...

What? MS is getting all kinds of free publicity right now. I've seen a whole bunch of stories on how little space is actually left to users on the Surface Pros after the OS was installed.1smile.gif

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post #20 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by lightknight View Post


It also engenders unreasonable expectations. Did you know that iPhone 6 is coming on April 1st, will have NFC, a 4 inch screen inflatable to 16 inches, a detachable keyboard, compatibility with Windows software, a SD card slot, a thunderbolt display port and a coffee grinder?

I call BS on the coffee grinder

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post #21 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


I don't think so. Tim Cook said he was doubling down on security and the rumours help Apple have so much mindshare with so little marketing costs.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5cAwTEEGNE

 

That is all I have to say1biggrin.gif.

post #22 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by allenbf View Post

Who is this new Apple that comments on products before they're officially unveiled?!

The FCC already blew the secret and the blogs are going nuts. In light of 'missed expectations' dropping the stock recently it makes sense for Apple to publicly tell folks to slow their roll. Sure it might not be what Steve would have done but. . .

As for the processor, I don't think as Neil suggests it has anything to do with production of the chip but rather stability of the system and possibility an upcoming feature they aren't ready to announce. Maybe the new chip they are using is 802.11ac compat when they are ready to turn on that use but they aren't just yet cause they don't have their routers ready. But they do flip it the whole system needs a better processor. Who knows

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post #23 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

Mentioned this in the other thread:

 

 

I have the 3 Apple TV 3s and can easily imagine reasons to replace them.  Here is my wish list for what information we know so far:

 

-Applications (Larger SSD- the current 8gb isn't near enough- 16gb would be adequate, 32gb preferred).  You can't have Apps with the current device because of size limitations.

-Stream internet TV- whether it be Vios or U-verse.  As mentioned in this thread- they could even do a cable company.

-Built in DVR if it has internet TV (again- with 32gb, this would be attainable.  Or at the very least, a software tweak to be able to record and store on a Mac).

-Better search functionality via remote.  Specifically Siri.  Remote looks the same with an additional button you hold, it mutes what you're watching (or turns down substantially), and you tell it what to do or search for.

 

Software related:

-Unified search across all applications (Even if they dont have apps- this should happen).

-If no apps, add some other ones- like Amazon, HBO, Pandora, CNN, ESPN, or other popular ones.

 

I'd gladly not only replace my ATVs, but pay more in the process ($199).  By the way- this would make this the best box in the market.  By a mile.  There is absolutely no reason why Apple shouldn't have all the above on the next release (with the exception of internet TV- which is just a wish, but possible).

 

I think your reasoning is a bit off.  

 

There is a reason why some of this stuff wouldn't be on the next AppleTV.  

 

1) Since there is currently no content on an AppleTV that you do not already own or own the streaming rights to, a DVR functionality is completely redundant. 

2) Unified search requires either an Internet browser (to search all the varied services not owned or operated by Apple), or only makes sense in the presence of apps (lots and lots of apps).

3) Adding different services/sources like CNN etc. requires their permission.  Do you really not think they have already been asked and refused?  

4) Siri only makes sense in the same way as unified search.

 

Basically, you want Apps, and you want Internet TV, and all your other "wants" are based on that.  

 

The general consensus so far on Apps is that they make no sense on a TV, are better off streaming from your iPad or iPhone where they already reside, and attempts to build Apps into TV's have all failed miserably up to now (see Samsung's latest "smart TV with Apps" and reviews of same). it seems at least so far, that people don't actually want to Tweet or Facebook from their TV.

 

Internet TV (by which you probably mean streaming of cable over the Internet to devices like an AppleTV), is something a lot of people are working on.  Maybe Apple is as well, who knows?  But the jury is not only still out on that one, they haven't even been picked for duty yet.  

 

It's far more likely that you will see those cable companies showing up on TV's as Apps like Netflix, than as streaming services.  It doesn't make sense to stream cable TV when it would the programming would be disconnected from the time of day or day of the week anyway.  Similarly it makes no sense to "DVR" a streamed cable broadcast, since it's digitised before streaming, and is already "time shifted" and available to anyone at any time in the first place 

post #24 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by allenbf View Post

Who is this new Apple that comments on products before they're officially unveiled?!

It is the Apple that is being forced to deal with an FCC leak and an Apple that wants to keep selling Apple TVs. It also wants to manage expectations that might emerge as a consequence of the leak.
post #25 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

 As mentioned in this thread- they could even do a cable company.

Why would Apple do a cable service when they have store. 'Itunes in the cloud' is basically your DVR. Improve pricing, timing etc is all they really need on that front.

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post #26 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post


That is all I have to say:D .

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That's so going in my sig.

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post #27 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by whoda View Post

Am I the only one that doesn't want the next Apple TV to be smaller? The thing is a hockey puck now.

As someone suggested in a related thread: velcro.

 

I am sure Apple is doing this because they are experimenting with getting it down to the smallest and thinnest form factor possible, so as to be able to stick it into a thinnest-possible 65-inch plasma monitor...... 1biggrin.gif

post #28 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by allenbf View Post

In his interview with Brian Williams, Cook dodged the questions pretty well but said the TV is an area of "intense interest."  Then we have an FCC filing and Apple is tripping over themselves to explain it's a spec bump?  I don't buy it.

Who says Cook was talking about hardware. He could have been talking about content. They need that really firmly in order before the hardware will matter.

Not to mention that 'intense interest' doesn't necessarily mean anything more than that. It might not be the wink wink conformation that Apple is making a real TV that some are reading into it

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post #29 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

As someone suggested in a related thread: velcro.

I am sure Apple is doing this because they are experimenting with getting it down to the smallest and thinnest form factor possible, so as to be able to stick it into a thinnest-possible 65-inch plasma monitor...... 1biggrin.gif

Yeah, I need to buy Velco. I tried last night but all I had was a nail gun. I also need to buy another Apple TV. 1wink.gif

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post #30 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

Who says Cook was talking about hardware. He could have been talking about content. They need that really firmly in order before the hardware will matter.

Not to mention that 'intense interest' doesn't necessarily mean anything more than that. It might not be the wink wink conformation that Apple is making a real TV that some are reading into it

As noted yesterday Roku has a much less capable HW and they are getting streaming content from Time Warner Cable.

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post #31 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

The filing is clearly because of the new WiFi/BT radios which has to be tested. The casing change is inconsequential to the filing but they would have had to submit it with that change for this to make sense.

I wouldn't mind a smaller (and cheaper) Apple TV if it's a secondary option for your guest bedroom TV while there is a larger, more feature rich option (perhaps as an HDTV or a base station) in your living room. I feel there is a huge gap for the Winter/Spring because of all the updates last Autumn so I wouldn't be surprised to see a new product category get announced in the next few months.

I won't mind smaller, but it's not as if it's a bulky device. I think it weighs less than the cables attached to it.

The only thing I really want is to make the Netflix app automatically play the next episode. The PS3 Netflix app plays the next episode automatically, press a button to skip the end credits to move on to the next episode. On Apple TV, the clumsy navigation means five button presses to play the next episode.
post #32 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by allenbf View Post

Who is this new Apple that comments on products before they're officially unveiled?!

 

because stating it's just minor tweaks and not any new functionality after the FCC leak helps ensure people don't stop buying the old model to wait for the newer one.  That's the second recent leak that had a quick response, the other was the 128gig iPad being released right after it likely existence was first discovered.

post #33 of 121
Apple: damned if they do, damned if they don't.

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post #34 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

I call BS on the coffee grinder

But.... but... but... DigiTimes says it's so.

post #35 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Apple: damned if they do, damned if they don't.

Amazon:  Dammed only on its small tributaries in Brazil.

post #36 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by whoda View Post

Am I the only one that doesn't want the next Apple TV to be smaller? The thing is a hockey puck now.

 

I want it down to this size with an RF remote and power over HDMI.  Also HDMI 1.4 with 3D and an App Store.

 

post #37 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by allenbf View Post

 

In his interview with Brian Williams, Cook dodged the questions pretty well but said the TV is an area of "intense interest."  Then we have an FCC filing and Apple is tripping over themselves to explain it's a spec bump?  I don't buy it.

 

As someone said, either this is a misdirect - or the new Apple is a bit too open and/or worried about stock fluctuations.


Intense interest? It sounds like they don't know what to do next, although a lot of people are asking for more content and apps.....

 

My AppleTV is just my Netflix box. Don't really use it for anything else. It needs to be more like Roku. More content. Where's the Amazon streaming app? Other content apps? Hello?

 

Apple seems to be getting slower and slower with ideas and innovations and new features in their products. Sad.

post #38 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

I think your reasoning is a bit off.  

There is a reason why some of this stuff wouldn't be on the next AppleTV.  

1) Since there is currently no content on an AppleTV that you do not already own or own the streaming rights to, a DVR functionality is completely redundant. 
2) Unified search requires either an Internet browser (to search all the varied services not owned or operated by Apple), or only makes sense in the presence of apps (lots and lots of apps).
3) Adding different services/sources like CNN etc. requires their permission.  Do you really not think they have already been asked and refused?  
4) Siri only makes sense in the same way as unified search.

Basically, you want Apps, and you want Internet TV, and all your other "wants" are based on that.  

The general consensus so far on Apps is that they make no sense on a TV, are better off streaming from your iPad or iPhone where they already reside, and attempts to build Apps into TV's have all failed miserably up to now (see Samsung's latest "smart TV with Apps" and reviews of same). it seems at least so far, that people don't actually want to Tweet or Facebook from their TV.

Internet TV (by which you probably mean streaming of cable over the Internet to devices like an AppleTV), is something a lot of people are working on.  Maybe Apple is as well, who knows?  But the jury is not only still out on that one, they haven't even been picked for duty yet.  

It's far more likely that you will see those cable companies showing up on TV's as Apps like Netflix, than as streaming services.  It doesn't make sense to stream cable TV when it would the programming would be disconnected from the time of day or day of the week anyway.  Similarly it makes no sense to "DVR" a streamed cable broadcast, since it's digitised before streaming, and is already "time shifted" and available to anyone at any time in the first place 
1- As I mentioned, DVR would only be useful with Internet TV- like all cable companies/boxes have currently.

2- unified search is the key difference that makes Apple TV jaw-dropping. Apple TV has Internet access- as does all the current applications. If they had a requirement to allow searching via all your log-ins, you could search for "sons of anarchy" and see that you can stream nothing on hulu, seasons 1-4 on Netflix, or purchase seasons 1-5 on iTunes. If they add amazon, or other apps- you'd see it there. If they added uverse, you can see that next Sunday at 7pm you can record to your DVR (apple TV).

3- no- I don't think they allow it. Why is amazon on every other streamer? They have an agenda? Maybe. But then Why is HBO on every other streamer? Or pandora (or any music streamer). It's apple holding out. Not the other companies.

4- Siri works with unified search.

Apps make perfect sense on a TV. Maybe not Facebook or twitter, but sportscenter or media apps such as HBO/Showtime/amazon, or music streamers or BBc streamer for UK. How about apps like Vimeo or Instagram or even a Facebook that can show slideshows of pictures while you listen to music. The market can be done. You mention smart tvs. Ya. They suck. But roku is successful and the best streamer out there specifically because it allows apps. Apps aren't bad- roku proves it.

As to your last point- 2 things. 1, sports need DVR- NFL isn't going to allow an app to just replay whatever game you want. 2, you counter no DVR with having apps to replace the need. Yet you previously said apps don't work. Can't have your cake and eat it too. 1smile.gif

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post #39 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by pfisher View Post

Intense interest? It sounds like they don't know what to do next, although a lot of people are asking for more content and apps.....

A "lot" are asking for apps? Just take a look at any one of the related threads: it's just a few whiners.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by pfisher View Post

 

My AppleTV is just my Netflix box. Don't really use it for anything else. It needs to be more like Roku. More content. Where's the Amazon streaming app? Other content apps? Hello?

 

Just buy a Roku then, and get on with life. If you're not using @TV for all of its fabulous functionality -- given your needs and preferences -- that is not Apple's problem. Hello?

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by pfisher View Post

Apple seems to be getting slower and slower with ideas and innovations and new features in their products. Sad.

 

Apple is Doomed.™1rolleyes.gif

post #40 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

Can't have your cake and eat it too. 1smile.gif

I've always wondered about this saying: shouldn't it be more aptly phrased "Can't eat your cake and have it too"?

 

If I have a cake, I have the option to eat it. But if I've already eaten it, I don't have it?

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