A revamped iPad may not be the only thing Apple fans have to look forward to at the company’s March 7th event in San Francisco: 9to5mac cites sources close to Apple in anticipating a new Apple TV model will also be announced. The new device, codenamed J33, is expected to include a faster A5 processor with improved graphics capability, along with Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, which has also been included in the iPhone 4S and latest Macbook Air and Mac Mini computers — perhaps heralding a new era of Apple device interconnectivity.
Although it goes without saying that rumors should be treated as such (and the same should be said about the iPad 3 — remember when we were all certain about the iPhone 5?) 9to5Mac corroborated their source’s evidence by rooting through the code of the newly unveiled iOS 5.1 beta, and they found evidence of an Apple TV with Bluetooth 4.0, specifically a Broadcom BCM4330 chip. What’s particularly germane about this finding is that so-called Bluetooth “Smart Devices” have the ability to pair with ultra low-power peripherals, and indeed pair almost instantly — 6 milliseconds — compared to current Bluetooth, which takes almost 6 seconds. Although it’s premature to guess at Apple’s motives, the possibility of low-power peripherals, such as a Siri controlled Bluetooth earpiece that could instantly pair with your Apple TV, iPhone, and Macbook Air, are definitely interesting to think about. The Broadcom chip also includes FM radio support.
The A5 processor embedded in the new Apple TV will also purportedly be able to handle 1080p video, which would open the doors to full HD iPad mirroring.
Although in recent weeks rumors have swirled regarding a true Apple branded television, replete with Siri remote control functionality, this next generation device is not anticipated to be an entirely new product such as that.
The current generation Apple TV launched in September of 2010 — quite a long product cycle, especially for Apple — but it was always understood that the project was a labor of love for the late Steve Jobs. We’ll have to wait a little more than a week to find out if new CEO Tim Cook will choose to carry the little black box that could into the spotlight once again.