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

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
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".
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 123
    Who is this new Apple that comments on products before they're officially unveiled?!
  • Reply 2 of 123
    Am I the only one that doesn't want the next Apple TV to be smaller? The thing is a hockey puck now.
  • Reply 3 of 123


    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.

  • Reply 4 of 123
    tylerk36tylerk36 Posts: 1,037member


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

  • Reply 5 of 123
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,666member

    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.

  • Reply 6 of 123
    Apple might be switching to a TSMC made A5 chip to test the production quality.
  • Reply 7 of 123
    andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member


    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).

  • Reply 8 of 123
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 123
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 22,829member

    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.

  • Reply 10 of 123
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    gatorguy wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 123
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    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.

  • Reply 12 of 123
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,309member

    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. 

  • Reply 13 of 123
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    mstone wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 123

    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?

  • Reply 15 of 123

    Quote:

    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!

  • Reply 16 of 123
    allenbfallenbf Posts: 993member

    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.

  • Reply 17 of 123
    icoco3icoco3 Posts: 1,467member
    Microsoft can only dream of this kind of free publicity...
  • Reply 18 of 123
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 22,829member

    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.image

  • Reply 19 of 123
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 22,829member

    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

  • Reply 20 of 123
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member

    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.



     


    That is all I have to sayimage.

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