One thing evident about the Apple TV 3 is that it will be the most difficult Apple device to jailbreak. MuscleNerd pointed this out on Twitter by stating, “Irony: Apple’s least expensive iOS device (yesterday’s new AppleTV3,1) will likely be the most secure of the bunch.”
What MuscleNerd is eluding to is that since there is no browser and fewer services on the Apple TV 3 than other iOS devices, there are fewer opportunities to find exploits.
The new Absinthe 2.0 jailbreak for iOS 5.1.1 released a few days ago doesn’t support the Apple TV 2 or 3. This is because the Absinthe jailbreak uses a mobilebackup2 exploit which is a service that doesn’t run on the 2nd or 3rd generation Apple TV, which is why its not supported. However, you can use SeasonPass to jailbreak the Apple TV 2 with iOS 5.1.1.
The 2nd generation Apple TV has the A4 chip, whereas the 3rd generation model has an A5 chip, which makes the device difficult to jailbreak.
Apple TV hacker @nitoTV explains it best in this statement;
I’m sure mostly everyone reading this article has probably heard MuscleNerds thought’s on jailbreaking the AppleTV 3, I echo his sentiments. I believe he said the “attack surface” is much smaller, I couldn’t have put it better. There is no built in default web browser, there are less services running, with no web browser and less services running there are fewer places to smoke/fuzz out a vulnerability. For instance, even if the AppleTV 3 was out before the iPad 2 and 4S were jailbroken with absinthe, it would not have been applicable, no mobilebackup to exploit for part of the injection vector. I’m not saying the AppleTV 3 is hopeless, however, without an A5 bootrom exploit being found, each AppleTV 3 jailbreak (after the first one happens) will be an uphill battle. Nothing earth shattering here, wish I had better news on this front.
You may want to rethink upgrading your Apple TV 2 with a new Apple TV 3 because as of right now, the Apple TV 3 is not even close to being jailbroken.