There is no rumor like an Apple rumor, and there is no company like Apple to cause the world to pore over everything it can to find even the vaguest hints of what the company is planning. Today is one of those days, because Amazon's French and German sites did a tiny little thing that might hint at an Apple TV refresh during the October 22nd media event the company will hold in San Francisco.
That tiny little thing was to list the Apple TV as being back in stock on October 23rd (French, German). That's it, that's all that happened, and both Amazon sites no longer even say that, but the eagle-eyed staff at AppleInsider were quick to note that October 23rd was the day after Apple's media event, and this could mean the device will be refreshed during the event.
Amazon France Listing for Apple TV Earlier on Friday
As evidence goes, this is the sketchiest Apple "rumor" ever. It's not really even a rumor. It's more like identifying the scene of a tapestry by carefully examining a single thread. Except for iPhones—and to a lesser extent, iPads—Tim Cook's promise to double down on secrecy has resulted in such thread-examinations being necessary to deduce Apple's plans.
That said, I love this particular story, and I commend AppleInsider for noticing it and putting the pieces together. The Apple TV hasn't been updated in a while, and if the company is going to update the device this holiday season (as it has in the past), the October 22nd media event is the place to do it.
Keep in mind, however, that Amazon doesn't know what Apple is planning. Apple doesn't share that kind of information with its retail partners, but Apple could certainly have told the online giant that it will send its next shipment of Apple TVs on October 23rd.
If that occurred in these two regions after they ran out of inventory completely, and Apple is planning on updating the device, what we saw earlier on both sites is precisely what would have happened. Amazon's highly automated website would simply list when the device would be in stock, and when it finally comes in, the description will be updated with whatever part number and description is applicable.
In other words, I wouldn't bet the farm that we'll see a new Apple TV on Tuesday because of this tidbit, but it could happen. Now I'm hoping it does.