updated 04:20 pm EDT, Wed September 29, 2010
Apple TV torn down by iFixit
DIY repair shop iFixit this afternoon finished a teardown of the new Apple TV. The close look reveals that the hub has the same variant of the A4 processor as the iPod touch and has 256MB of RAM, rather than the 512MB of the iPhone 4. Apple has also put just a single 8GB Samsung flash chip to both hold the OS and cache movies during the streaming process.
Broadcom's 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth combo chip is the same as for the iPad, although Bluetooth isn't functional. A surprise came in the form of a solder pad on one edge that appears to be a match for the Dock Connector. Apple isn't likely to add the option to a future Apple TV, but it may have left the basic connections in place rather than modify a circuit design carried over from iOS devices.
While superficially closed, the Apple TV is also said to be relatively easy to repair as the bottom comes off with spudgers and can be unscrewed quickly. The very low power of the A4 has meant that Apple can not only build the 6W power supply into the case itself but uses simple thermal pads to transfer heat.
The mix of smartphone-level hardware and simple design were considered possible edges for Apple. It should make for the self-evident small footprint but also a minimal environmental impact, as it both uses little electricity and can be fixed with a minimum of parts.
"This may be the most eco-friendly set-top box of all time," iFixit said.