updated 12:00 pm EST, Tue February 28, 2012
Could herald long-demanded 1080p support
A new Apple TV will launch alongside the iPad 3 in March, according to sources for 9to5Mac. The device is thought to have the J33 codename, but no other details have been verified. Earlier rumors, though, have revolved around support for 1080p video, a feature people have demanded since the first generation debuted in 2007. For this Apple may need to upgrade the Apple TV with an A5 processor, possibly the rumored A5X. Apple could conceivably use the introduction of a new Apple TV to simultaneously bring 1080p videos to the iTunes Store; currently, even HD files are capped at 720p.
Some other rumored features have included a new, Bluetooth 4.0-based remote, or even Siri support. At the moment Siri is restricted to the iPhone 4S, but the iPad 3, at least, is expected to become the next officially supported device.
9to5's sources add that Apple will release three different iPad 3 variants next month, codenamed J1, J2, and J2A. The latter two may simply be different versions of a cellular-equipped model, much in the same way that 3G iPad 2s are split between GSM and CDMA variants. The iPad 3 is anticipated to be the first Apple device to support LTE.
Other rumors hint that the J1 may only be available in one color, at least during the launch window. Three different capacities are expected, but it's uncertain if Apple will nix a 16GB option in favor of 32, 64, and 128GB capacities. The company is moreover said to have a new accessory codenamed the "B82," but its nature is unknown; it could conceivably be a Bluetooth 4.0 remote.