Apple submitted a mysterious “wireless device” to the U.S. Federal Communications Agency for the third time recently. The most recent filing lists a model number A1845, slotting in between A1844 in the first filing and A1846 in the second filing; however, there are no new clues as to what the unnamed device could be, according to MacRumors.
Apple keeping it secret
The entry largely remains a mystery because the iPhone maker again requested permanent confidentiality for most of the documents in the filing, including user manuals, schematics and photos. The test reports completed by UL Verification Services disclose that the device has NFC and Bluetooth LE.
It must be noted that the model numbers A1846, A1844 and A1845 do not correspond to any of Apple’s current products. In the first filing, a regulatory label showed that the device has at least two Torx screws and two slightly curved edges. The tech giant, however, cropped the image in the second and third filings, likely to give fewer clues about its design, notes MacRumors.
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What could this mysterious device be?
When the original “wireless device” was uncovered, there were speculations that it could be a new Apple TV, but “the prominent and lengthy regulatory text etched directly on the device, including a wiring guide, would be uncharacteristic of Apple to include on the exterior of a consumer-facing product,” says MacRumors.
Based on Apple’s first filing (A1844), it was concluded that it is a low-powered device rated to draw between 5.5V and 13.2V and between 100mA and 700mA. In comparison, the Apple TV is rated at 12V at 0.917A, or the iPhone 5 V at 2.4A, according to 9to5Mac. At that time, many also speculated that this mystery wireless device is the Siri-powered Amazon Echo competitor. Bloomberg even reported that the in-development device is in the prototype testing phase.
A better explanation could be that the wireless device is for internal use. There are chances that the device in question is something that used in Apple Stores, like iBeacon-based equipment or a product display unit used to communicate with a customer’s iOS devices, notes MacRumors.
We may not learn if it does end up being a product for retail or internal use until the device is launched, but it is still fun to speculate, with predictions ranging from a smart thermostat to the Siri-enabled speaker.