According to The Verge, there's no redesign on the horizon and contrary to the FCC, the new Apple TV model will come in the same size, identical to the current version with the same functionality.
What's the one difference? A new model number and slightly indistinguishable component changes. It is not to be considered a new, "fourth-generation" Apple TV, as it will continue functioning as the current model.
If you need to see something "new", either take a look at the model number or open the device and take a peek at its components which could include a rumored upgrade such as a A5x processor. This is similar to the one currently used in Apple's third-generation iPad.
There are also rumors of a change to the antenna technology, but neither of these have been confirmed as being included the FCC filings. There was also talk of the iOS6.1 firmware file, which had been included in the filings within hardware references.
Some reports have the updated hardware coming in smaller than what's included in second- and third-generation models. Also at the same size, these models containing the updated hardware will hit stores soon.
Verge released the following statement about the Apple TV model made by an Apple spokesperson, "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."
It has almost been a year since Apple's last Apple TV hardware update. This came in March through a third-generation model that now includes a single-core A5 processor, which has enabled the device to output 1080p of video. Apple has introduced some interim software updates in the last year and just this week it introduced three additional ones.
The main updates included:
- Tunes in the Cloud (browse and play purchased iTunes music straight from iCloud),
- Up Next (see the next songs while playing music and then choose what to play next)
- Bluetooth Keyboard (use the Apple Wireless Keyboard to control the Apple TV)
Also on Monday, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) updated its Xcode to version 4.6, which adds support to iOS 6.1.
According to Verge, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is expected to introduce a "full-fledged" TV, maybe as early as this fall.
Last week, the company released a disappointing fourth-quarter earnings report. Today, the stock is currently trading at $458.10, up .10 percent.