What's Apple working on? Mystery device pops up at the FCC

Apple news mystery FCC filing
Apple news mystery FCC filing

A mysterious, never-before-seen Apple device has shown up at the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Documents reveal very little about what this device does or what it looks like, but here's what we can gather.

The FCC documents point to this being a "wireless device" that includes radios for NFC and Bluetooth.

Notably absent is any mention of Wi-Fi, which is odd. The model number is listed as A1844, which doesn't line up with any existing Apple product line.

The only physical clues we get are two Torx screws on a chassis with slightly rounded corners. Apple specifically requested that the FCC remove any diagrams, electrical schematics and even technical description about its device. However, photos of this phantom product will be available to the public 180 days after the grant of equipment authorization.

Cue the rumor mill

Some have speculated that this could be an updated version of the Apple TV, possibly with 4K and HDR support, something the fourth-generation Apple TV lacked.

However, MacRumors notes it's uncharacteristic of Apple to include regulatory text etched onto the back of a consumer device, which includes a wiring guide.

Others wonder whether the device could be Apple's Siri-enabled speaker, though a lack of Wi-Fi doesn't make sense. Yet more ponderings include the existence of a new AirPort Extreme networking device, though why it needs NFC, we don't know.

Last but not least, there's always a possibility that the device is for Apple's internal use only. Having NFC and Bluetooth makes sense for payments and iBeacon technology, which allows mobile phones to interact with signals from the real world. For example, customers walking into target would get a notification on their phone about items currently on sale.

Until we have a more concrete picture from Apple - or, you know, leaks start spouting from everywhere - we're left scratching our heads as to what Apple is up to.

Lewis Leong
Lewis Leong is a freelance writer for TechRadar. He has an unhealthy obsession with headphones and can identify cars simply by listening to their exhaust notes.