Sources within Best Buy speaking to 9to5Mac report that stock of the current Apple TV are extremely limited, and that Apple will not be shipping any more units to stores, suggesting that Apple may upgrade the device in the near future.
A customer was inquiring tonight about Apple TV. However right now we are out of stock (Which hasn’t happened since I started). Not only were we out of stock, but I was also unable to order one from our product ordering system (OMS). Product was listed as “currently unavailable”. From prior experience, this usually is associated with a product that is being “discontinued”.
References to a new Apple TV model (codenamed J33) were recently discovered in iOS 5.1 beta, and with the likely rumors that the iPad 3 will be getting a Retina display (and likewise the ability to stream 1080p content), there’s a strong chance the the updated model could be powered by Apple’s A6 chip, which is expected to debut in Apple’s next-gen iPad.
Such a chip would enable 1080p content to be played on the Apple TV, which currently can only support 720p output, and would also pave the way for 1080p HD movies and other video content to be added to iTunes.
As always, nothing is certain, but considering Tim Cook’s comments that the Apple TV is a hobby he “can’t live without,” it’s extremely unlikely that Apple will discontinue the unit, As such, an updated model in the near future is extremely likely.