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Amazon gives Apple TV $10 price cut, '2010' model label

A new price drop and title change on Amazon.com's listing of Apple's set-top TV box hint that a new model could be on the way.

Apple's second-generation Apple TV.
Apple's second-generation Apple TV.
Sarah Tew/CNET

New pricing and a title change on Amazon.com's listing of the Apple TV hint that a new model could be just around the corner.

The set-top box, which Apple last updated with new hardware in September of last year, is currently listed for $89.99, a 9 percent discount on the unit's retail price.

But as 9to5mac notes, the more interesting tidbit is that it's now listed as the "(2010)" version of the product. By comparison, Amazon lists the most up-to-date version of other Apple products, such as the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, as the "(NEWEST VERSION)," suggesting that the 2010 label could be a precursor to it being outdated by something newer.

The price drop is also notable, given that Amazon has never sold the Apple TV for less than $95 on its site, at least as an advertised price. The move follows an identical price drop from Best Buy this past weekend, also down to $89.99, though users had to add the item to their cart to see that price.

Apple did not hold its annual music event earlier this year, instead choosing to bundle in any iPod and entertainment-related announcements alongside the introduction of the iPhone 4S in early October. No updates for the Apple TV were mentioned during that presentation, suggesting that the company was passing on making any adjustments by the end of the year.

Yet things got a little interesting last month with a report from 9to5mac pointing to a mention of "Apple TV3,1" in the iOS 5 file system, a system identifier that does not yet exist and would trump the existing model's "Apple TV2,1" identifier.

Apple's current Apple TV model is now a bit long in the tooth, when it comes to processing power. The small set-top box sports an A4 processor, which Apple has since replaced in devices such as the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S with the dual-core A5. That extra power could help push Apple's box to churn out something better than the 720p video at which it tops out. Apple's latest iPhone has a 1080p video output.

It's worth pointing out that Amazon's own listings have been way off, when it comes to letting loose product details ahead of any changes. Most recently, allegedly leaked specs of the iPad 2 on Amazon's German site included Thunderbolt I/O, along with a release date a week later than what was announced. The errant listing was quickly taken down.

Where Apple takes its TV-focused product is of keen interest, given recent revelations about the company's future TV plans. In the recently released biography of late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, author Walter Isaacson noted Jobs' work on making an easy-to-use TV set that is integrated with the company's various products and services, something that could arrive as early as next year.