updated 09:35 am EDT, Thu September 2, 2010
First non-iOS device to use chipset?
(Updated with official info on Nano and iOS) A brief check of the Apple TV's technical specifications reveals that it is actually based on an A4 processor, like the iPad, iPhone 4 and the new iPod touch. The architecture is an ARM design customized by Apple, nominally with mobile products in mind. In the Apple TV it replaces a relatively low-grade Intel chipset.
An open question so far is whether or not the Apple TV uses iOS firmware. Until now, any device with an A4 processor has also used iOS; other products based on the platform should in fact be able to push photos and video to an Apple TV using AirPlay. The only touch control for the set-top comes from the Remote app, however, and the TV menu interface resembles that of earlier hardware. Moreover, no access to the App Store is available, although the same is true of the new iOS-equipped iPod nano.
Update: An Apple spokesperson later revealed that the iPod nano does not use iOS, but rather an interface meant to mimic the operating system.