It’s been nearly two years since Amazon launched its first Fire TV Stick and roughly a year since the company launched the Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote (which is basically the original hardware, plus a new remote).
Now it looks like a new model is on the way, with at least one new feature: support for 802.11ac WiFi.
AFTV News spotted an FCC listing that sure looks like a next-gen Fire TV Stick. While the listing wasn’t filed by Amazon, it has all the usual indicators of an Amazon shell company (Amazon almost never uses its own name when filing documents with the FCC).
The item is described as an HDMI Digital Media Receiver with support for 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1. It’s been tested with an HDMI extender cable, Bluetooth controller, and Bluetooth earphones, among other things.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the new model has received other spec bumps such as a new processor or additional RAM. But I wouldn’t expect too much of a change from the first-generation hardware: Amazon has a habit of selling next-gen hardware for the same prices as previous-gen devices… or less. And it’d be hard to offer a streaming media player that can doe as much as the Fire TV Stick for much less than the $40 Amazon currently charges.
I’ve been using an original Fire TV Stick since close to day one, and it works just as well today as it did the day I bought it, even after receiving numerous operating system updates from Amazon. I doubt I’ll be in the market for a new model unless there’s some major new feature I’m not aware of yet.
But it’s nice to know that Amazon may be updating the hardware for its entry-level media streamer, since it could make the new version a bit more attractive for first-time customers.