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New iPhone OS 3.0-based prototype discovered

Newly discovered Apple product codes found in beta releases of iPhone OS 3.0 lead to wild speculation about what Apple will come up with next.

Ars Technica reports that the latest version of the iPhone OS 3.1 beta 3 seeded to developers recently holds a configuration file that references two mysterious products known as iProd0,1 and iProd1,1. iProd0,1 was previously referenced and initially spotted back in March in a version of the same configuration file in iPhone OS 3.0 beta. References to iProd1,1, however, are completely new.

Ars Technica

According to Ars: The iProd1,1 device has been assigned a new productID of 4762 (versus 4757 of iProd0,1) and assigned a different ConfigurationDescriptor of "standardMuxPTPEthernet." iPhone models also have this designation, and the additional interface identified in the plist for this configuration is "AppleUSBEthernet." The consensus here seems to be that the new device may have gained high-speed-networking capabilities, although the iPhone uses the interface to tether to a laptop to share its 3G connection.

The 0,1 seems to indicates a prototype of some sort (codes with one or higher as the first number indicate a production device that might soon be sold to the public). All this usually indicates that Apple is working on a new device, but it's anyone's guess what the device might be.

What could the iProd portion of the code refer to? Apple's rumored Netbook or tablet computer? A new iPod that includes a camera? Regardless, it's clear that the device will run iPhone OS 3.0. It should be noted that within the same Plist file, the iPhone 3GS is represented by iPhone2,1 along with additional mystery product codes including iPhone3,1, iPod2,2, and iPod3,1. (For what it's worth, I think that the designation is for a new iPod with a camera that is capable of taking both still shots and video like the iPhone 3GS.)

Is all this just crazy talk? What do you think Apple is coming up with next? Let us know in the comments.