Yesterday we brought you the news that there would be a new Apple TV model coming, but that’s only partially true. There will be some changes made to the Apple TV internally, as displayed in the firmware update and the FCC documents from yesterday.
But the new Apple TV will, in fact, not be physically smaller and it won’t be marketed as a new version.
Instead, it appears that this will simply be a ‘stealthy’ refresh that changes some of the internals of the product without a full model refresh or any physical changes.
“We sometimes make component changes which require an updated model number for regulatory approval,” an Apple spokesperson told TNW. “The component changes we made don’t affect product features and Apple TV customers will continue to have the same great user experience.”
Though the FCC documents appeared to show that there was a physical difference in size, this will not be the case. And the new device will continue to operate in the same manner.
There were some other details that we uncovered that do align with the fact that Apple says component changes have been made. Namely the fact that this mid-season refresh, designated as an Apple TV 3,2 in the firmware, will utilize Apple’s A5x processor and a Broadcom BCM4334 wireless chip.
As far as the difference in size in the FCC documents, it’s possible that the unit was measured without its external shell, because as far as we understand, it will look the same as the current model.
As far as whether there will be a change and full upgrade to the Apple TV at some point, it seems likely but this particular unit isn’t it. Instead, this change seems aimed at Apple leveraging the A5x processor and the Broadcom part, both of which it already uses in other products.
So, at least for now, no new Apple TV model but instead a mildly refreshed version of the current one. As far as when these new versions will replace the current models, it seems likely that they will begin shipping soon in the same boxes you see now, if they haven’t already.