As we noted in May, the wait for the 1080p Apple TV jailbreak caused a spike in the price of the already jailbroken 720p Apple TV. The older Apple TV (new in box) is going for as much as $230 on Amazon and eBay, where as the latest model is going for as little as $90. Feature-craving customers are willing to pay a significant premium to jailbreak their Apple TV and add different media types, a web browser, the ability to back up content to the cloud, and more to their set-top box.
iOS hacker pod2g exaggerated the situation last week when he tweeted that he does not know of anyone working on a jailbreak for the third-generation Apple TV. The news was definitely a little disconcerting for those hoping to get a jailbreak on their 1080p Apple TVs.
However, there might be a light at the end of the tunnel for 1080p Apple TV owners who are after the jailbreak features.
We learned from someone with close knowledge of the project that a jailbreak for the third-generation Apple TV is indeed in the works. There are just a handful people working on the jailbreak. While it is not complete, at least one method to jailbreaking is currently being chased in the hopes of big results. Additionally, James Abeler of FireCore confirmed the news with us:
There is a group of very bright and talented individuals working on a lead that could result in a usable jailbreak for the 3rd gen Apple TV. While there is no telling how long this process could take, we remain optimistic that a jailbreak for this device will be available in the future. For the record, no one at FireCore is involved in the jailbreak discovery process.
To add to the upcoming jailbreak, FireCore, the company behind Seas0nPass, aTV Flash, and MiRow, has third-generation Apple TV-compatible updates in the works, Abeler told us. FireCore is said to be ready to release its updates when the jailbreak becomes available.
Some users in the past have moved to jailbreak their Apple TVs because of the new and interesting functionality available to hacked devices:
A notable piece of software that can be installed on jailbroken Apple TVs is FireCore’s aTV Flash software. aTV Flash adds a slew of features including the ability to view MKV, AVI, and MP4 video formats that iTunes does not allow, a full web browser, Last.fm support, RSS feeds, cloud backups, subtitles, and a lot more. FireCore has two versions of its aTV Flash software available: the $29.95 black version and $39.95 silver version. Another piece of popular jailbreak-only software is XBMC, which allows for easy media organization.
As the wait for the third-generation Apple TV jailbreak to be released continues, the price of the second-generation Apple TV will most likely stay higher. It is definitely interesting that users are willing to pay three times the premium for new features beyond Apple’s software walls (for weaker hardware). Sadly, a release date of the jailbreak is unknown, but results look to be in the pipeline.
@anethema the ATV has only a fraction of the software infrastructure of the other devices...the attack surface is much smaller— Ⓜ MuscleNerd (@MuscleNerd) March 17, 2012
You can get more information on the process of jailbreaking your second-generation Apple TV with Seas0nPass on FireCore’s website.