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Apple Submits Mystery 'Wireless Device' With Bluetooth and NFC to FCC

Earlier this week, we spotted an Apple filing for a nondescript "wireless device" pass through the FCC ID database. Apple characteristically requested permanent confidentiality for most of the documents in the filing, including photos, user manuals, and schematics, so the entry largely remains a mystery.

What we do know is the device has a model number of A1844, which does not line up with any existing Apple products. A regulatory label shows the device has two Torx screws on the back plate of the device, which appears to have at least two slightly curved edges. The device has an electrical rating of 5.5V to 13.2V.

apple-a1844-fcc-filing
Test reports completed by UL Verification Services also reveal the wireless device has Bluetooth and NFC, although Wi-Fi is not mentioned.

Some websites have speculated the filing could represent a new Apple TV, but the device appears to be smaller based on the artwork -- although there are no exact measurements for scale. The device also has oddly specific regulatory text etched directly on the back of the device, including a wiring guide, which would be uncharacteristic of Apple to include on the exterior of a consumer-facing product.

Perhaps, then, the wireless device is for internal use. Back in 2014, an FCC filing revealed Apple's first-party iBeacon hardware, for example, which the company uses in its retail stores. Originally introduced at WWDC 2013, iBeacon technology enables iOS devices to communicate with transmitters via Bluetooth LE in order to deliver relevant information to apps and services when a user is nearby.

Without any supplemental information, the FCC filing will likely remain a mystery. At this point, virtually any wild speculation is fair game, ranging from a new AirPort Extreme to Apple's widely rumored Siri-enabled speaker for smart homes, although the latter product is reportedly still being prototyped.

Tag: FCC


Top Rated Comments

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24 months ago
Powerbook G5. Confirmed.
Rating: 28 Votes
24 months ago
Lots of thermostats use RS485 control signals. I'm telling you all, it's a thermostat.
Rating: 17 Votes
24 months ago
It's a thermostat. Apple will launch a load of IoT devices (compatible with HomeKit, of course) around this time next year.
Rating: 17 Votes
24 months ago
Echo-like device?
Rating: 15 Votes
24 months ago
I hope it is a POS device to rapidly expand NFC usage to millions of small retailers.

The RS-485 reference makes sense for existing legacy register systems.

Rocketman
Rating: 10 Votes
24 months ago
whatever it is, i'm already disappointed by it and Tim needs to resign.
Rating: 8 Votes
24 months ago

Echo-like device?


You mean they're making a Sega Dolphin-like device?

J/K, it's Friday.
Rating: 8 Votes
24 months ago


yesss!! iPhone X confirmed!!
Rating: 6 Votes
24 months ago
I work in the Physical Access control space (Example: Card Access). D0 and D1 often is coupled with RS485 on our controllers for Data 0 and Data 1 wiegand (serial) connections.

Usually this isn't used in consumer spaces so maybe it is for internal uses. Here is some details on Wiegand interfaces (D1/D0) for card access systems.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiegand_interface

Apple uses access control all over the place including on the Apple Watch drawers in their stores to access the demo watches.
Rating: 5 Votes
24 months ago
RS-485 is used in model railways according to Wikipedia... Apple model HO scale train set confirmed.
Rating: 5 Votes

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