9to5Mac is citing „reliable sources familiar with Apple’s upcoming product release” that claim Apple is launching a new Apple TV alongside the iPad 3 on March 7. This is not a long-rumored Apple TV set but an updated Apple TV set-top box.
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Have you missed Gene Munster and his Apple TV-related “predictions” yet? Piper Jaffray analyst wrote a new note to clients claiming he has heard from “a major TV component supplier” that they had been contacted by Apple regarding “various capabilities of their television display components.” Munster sees this as “continued evidence that Apple is exploring production of a television.” Munster added that Apple had a series of meetings in January 2011 in Asia because the company “was investing in manufacturing facilities for LCD displays ranging from 3.5″ mobile displays to 50″ television displays.”
Apple has sold record 1.4 million Apple TVs during the last holiday quarter but, interestingly, the company didn’t reveal this figures in yesterday’s press release in which it proudly details record-breaking sales of iPhones, iPads and Macs. The record figures for Apple TV were revealed during the Q1 2012 earnings live call: asked about Apple’s strategy for the living room, Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, said “the Apple TV product is dealing very well,” and he gave the numbers: in the last fiscal year – ended in September 2011 – Apple sold 2.8 mln Apple TVs, and in December quarter – record 1.4 mln units.
Back in October, 9to5Mac found an evidence for a next-generation Apple TV being in the works – a reference to ‘Apple TV 3,1’ (current model is listed as 2,1) inside the iOS 5 file system. The number changing from 2 to 3 should signify a major upgrade. 9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman believed the device would get a dual-core A5 processor (that would open door to true 1080p) and a bluetooth support.
This Monday Gurman found that a new codename – J33 – has been assigned to Apple TV in iOS 5.1. According to Gurman, iOS release history tells us that Apple assigns a proper codename to products that move closer to release.
Both Amazon and Best Buy are now selling the Apple TV 2 for $89, $10 lower than the original price. Amazon also added “2010” label next to the product name, suggesting there will be 2011 or 2012 model coming soon. When? According to AppleInsider, the price drop doesn’t suggest an imminent release of an updated model “as it is likely too late in the holiday season for Apple to launch a new product. The last time the company released new hardware in November was the Core 2 Duo MacBook in 2006.” However, TechCrunch’s Matt Burns believes that the new Apple TV may be released in the coming days: “The holiday spending spree is in full effect and Apple isn’t one to ignore shopping trends. If it’s not out soon, the next version probably wouldn’t be released until 2012,” he says.
Deep inside the iOS 5 file system 9to5Mac has found an evidence for a next-generation Apple TV being in the works – a reference to ‘Apple TV 3,1’ (current model is listed as 2,1). According to 9to5Mac, the number changing from 2 to 3 should signify a major upgrade. What changes can we expect? Most likely, the device will get a dual-core A5 processor that would open door to true 1080p. In July AppleInsider reported that Apple may be preparing to begin supporting 1080p movies in its iTunes Store later this year. True 1080p would be a nice update for iPhone 4S owners since the device allows to shoot 1080p videos and then stream it to Apple TV via AirPlay. Games mirrored in 1080p, like Real Racing 2 HD, would also be awesome. The current Apple TV’s A4 processor only allows 720p playback.