Being an extreme fan of the Apple TV since its first debut, I find this rumor to be incredibly satisfying. References to a new device in the Apple TV line have surfaced as a device string in the GM build of iOS 5.
_cstring0007FBB3 0000000B C AppleTV3,1
That little tidbit is the seed that will hopefully grow to be the Apple TV 3! With the power of the A5 behind it, we will definitely be seeing 1080p streaming should the device become a reality. Add in a little bit of a ram boost and the experience should really start transitioning from a hobby to a full blown supported product!
Apple and notably, Steve Jobs, has been on record claiming that the Apple TV was merely a company hobby since 2007. This stance has left us die hard Apple TV fans wondering when the plug would be pulled and where we would go if our favorite little streaming box was no longer supported. Now though, with references of new products, we may be able to rest easy for a bit.
Personally, I’d like to see the Apple TV grow into more than simply a media streamer, leaning more towards a centralized digital hub. With the new boxes now running iOS, we should start seeing some apps trickle down offering added functionality including possibly Twitter integration. We will have to see what Apple has in store for the little black box.