About this time last year Amazon took to the stage to announce their latest Fire TV products, the Amazon Fire TV and the Fire TV Stick. Both of these were the 2015 versions of the 2014 models and came with some notable upgrades, although the upgrades to the Fire TV Stick were far less impressive compared to the Fire TV. As an example, the Fire TV for 2015 came with 4K playback support while the Fire TV Stick came with a remote with voice control support (which was also the same remote for the main Fire TV device).
Either way, with those products being announced about this time last year (October), some might be wondering if Amazon is preparing to launch new Fire TV devices for 2016. The answer to that would seem to be yes, as a new Fire TV Stick has now been spotted passing through the FCC. This is always a clear indicator that a product is near to launch and with the anniversary coming up, it stands to reason that it is likely to be announced soon enough. Especially as Amazon has been announcing a number of products in the last couple of weeks including the very recently announced Amazon Echo Dot.
That said, in terms of the actual new Fire TV Stick, the FCC filings do not provide much in the way of information. The “HDMI Digital Media Receiver” as it is described, comes with both WiFi and Bluetooth support. And this is where some of the big changes could be, as WiFi support has been extended from last year’s model to include dual-band 802.11ac WiFi and there is mentioning of the device being tested with a Bluetooth controller (which is not possible with the current Fire TV Stick which makes use of WiFi-direct). It is also worth mentioning that the FCC documents do not explicitly state that this is a Fire TV Stick, but the shape of the device shown in the image below would suggest it is more TV Stick-like than Fire TV box-like. Likewise, the FCC filings were not directly filed by Amazon as such, but were filed by a shell company – which is believed to be a common occurrence for Amazon products. So while there is no definitive confirmation that a new Fire TV Stick is on the way, all the indications do seem to point to one coming. Which as mentioned, would make sense with the upcoming Fire TV Stick announcement anniversary.