9to5Mac has found a reference to a third generation Apple TV (AppleTV3.1) in the latest version of iOS 5. Although, no details were released about Apple TV at Apple’s “Lets talk iPhone” event, this certainly suggests Apple has a new version of the set-top box in the works.
You can also see the second generation Apple TV labeled as “AppleTV2,1” in the photo.
The reference “AppleTV3.1” indicates that this would be a significant upgrade to the hardware, possibly the dual-core A5 chip and more RAM will be added. This would allow for 1080p playback and update the hardware inline with the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S.
Back in July, 9to5Mac also uncovered bluetooth support for Apple TV in iOS 5. The reference found refers to an “Apple Wireless Keyboard”, but bluetooth support could also be used for a Wii type gaming remote. Many people have speculated about apps coming to Apple TV but nothing has been found confirming apps or a gaming remote.
While we are confident that Apple is working on a new Apple TV with improved hardware, we are less confident on when it will arrive. Since Apple TV is still considered a “Hobby” by Apple, it will likely come alongside a new product that is launched within the next 6-12 months.