A developer tipped off Ars Technica on the evidence in the latest beta of iPhone OS 3.1 of a property list file for USB configuration that contains an “iProd1,1″ entry.
This isn’t the first time cryptic references have turned up, either.
In March, an identifier for “iProd0,1″ was found in the iPhone OS SDK beta, along with “iPhone3,1,” “iFPGA,” and “iPod2,2? identifiers, the iPhone reference turning out to be the iPhone 3GS. In July, analytics firm Pinch Media found the “iPod3,1? string, which is likely a next generation iPod touch. That reference appears in this latest configuration file, too.
However, the “iProd1,1″ references a new productID and descriptor, “standardMuxPTPEthernet.” Ars Technica speculates this may refer to “high-speed networking capabilities.” With the iPhone, it refers to sharing a 3G connection through tethering, while access to a 3G network and data plan fits rumors of an Applet tablet and Verizion.
Since Apple has introduced new iPods every September for the last four years, we probably don’t have to wait long for the mystery to be revealed, and with Steve Jobs back at work, it’s hard to imagine better timing for an Apple Tablet.