updated 05:35 pm EDT, Tue August 4, 2009
iPhone OS iProd device
A new USBConfiguration.plist in the latest iPhone firmware v3.1 beta lists an unknown Apple device tagged as "iProd," according to Ars Technica. The original v3.0 firmware beta contained code for iProd0,1. The latest version, however, has changed the designation to iProd1,1.
In comparison, the iPhone 3GS tag was contained in the early firmware as iPhone3,1. The device represents the third revision of Apple's handset, while "1,1" is typically assigned to the first revision. If true, the description appears to corroborate reports that Apple is set to release an entirely new device.
Interestingly enough, iProd1,1 has also been assigned a ConfigurationDescriptor of "standardMuxPTPEthernet" which is also used for the iPhone models. The device also carries an "AppleUSBEthernet" configuration, leading to speculation that it may integrate networking capabilities. The iPhone uses the same interface to enable tethering of its 3G connection to a notebook.
The switch from 0,1, which could have been a prototype, to 1,1 potentially indicates the unannounced device has transitioned into a production stage. The true identity of the product remains unknown, although a wide range of unconfirmed reports point to a tablet.
At least one analyst has claimed to have actually touched an upcoming Apple tablet with a form-factor similar to the iPod touch, while sources at suppliers have noted a large purchase of 10-inch displays. The reports provide conflicting information regarding a potential launch time-frame. Many expect the device as early as September, although others claim the product is on-track for a 2010 first-quarter release.