Like prison cakes, iOS updates tend to have secret files baked into the firmware, each capable of sawing through the bars of Apple’s own internal clampdown to free details on upcoming products. The latest beta of iOS 4.1 is no exception, offering a tantalizing first glimpse of three upcoming iOS devices.
The first two tipped products aren’t particularly surprising: a reference to an iPod 4,1 is clearly pointing towards next month’s updated iPod Touch, which is likely to boast an A4 CPU, FaceTime support and a Retina Display.
Similarly, once you know that iProd 1,1 was the internal Apple coding reference to the first-gen iPad, iProd 2,1 is easy to peg as a second-gen iPad. What’s curious here, though, is the fact that Apple’s officially programming support for a second generation iPad at all into iOS 4.1. If Apple sticks to a yearly product update for the iPad, we’re eight months away from an update to the tablet; does the reference to iProd 2,1 in an iOS update scheduled for next month indicate a surprising hardware refresh for the iPad line later this year, possibly fixing the begrudged lack of FaceTime support?
The final reference, though, is the most intriguing: an unknown device described as “unknownHardware” tagged with a unique Apple product ID of 20547. Smart money is this being an iOS-driven update to the AppleTV, although we’ve all been surprised by Apple before. Only September’s annual iPod event will give us partial answers.