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iPhone OS 3.2 references new iPhone, iPod touch, iPad models


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The iPad is out, and the staff has been locked in the bowels of the Orbiting HQ until our review is finished. In the meantime, folks are already digging into configuration files hidden deep inside the iPad-only 3.2 version of iPhone OS and turning up references to Apple's next-generation mobile hardware.

Now included in the growing collection of hardware supported in USBDeviceConfiguration.plist are two new fourth-generation iPhone models, iPhone3,2 and iPhone3,3. These are in addition to the iPhone3,1 model that was previously referenced, and suggests that Apple plans to have multiple versions of fourth-gen hardware. This may be another clue that Apple will make a CDMA-compatible model that rumors have long indicated is destined for Verizon's network.

A third hardware item could suggest a WiMAX-compatible model, which could be offered on Sprint's network. Most bets are hedged on the expectation that Apple will wait for LTE to be rolled out before building a 4G compatible iPhone. Alternately, it could be the other long-rumored iPhone variant, the "iPhone nano." Of course, it could be something that no one has even guessed at yet.

(A quick note for those not familiar with Apple's naming pattern: Apple uses a ProductNameX,Y pattern for product IDs. The first number, X, is the main product revision, while Y is a minor variant. While the iPhone 3G is considered the second-generation iPhone hardware, Apple labeled it iPhone1,2 since most of the changes were minor compared to the original iPhone. The iPhone 3GS, the 3rd-gen iPhone hardware, has a product ID of iPhone2,1.)

Also in the list is iPod4,1, the first reference we've seen to fourth-gen iPod hardware. That would most likely be revealed in the fall—the typical iPod launch window—after the fourth-gen iPhone hardware is released in the summer.

Finally, the updated list includes iProd2,1. References to iProd0,0 turned up in late 2008, and it was suspected to be a prototype Apple tablet. iPhone OS 3.1 revealed a reference to iProd1,1, and that was later confirmed to be the iPad. So iProd2,1 is most likely the next major iPad hardware revision. When that hardware is ready for release is anyone's guess—we wouldn't bet on it happening before 2011—though we aren't really surprised that Apple is already working on it.

The iFPGA is still listed as well. Chances are good that this some kind of test bed or prototyping board, as FPGA stands for field programmable gate array. An FPGA is a chip that can be "programmed" to perform specialized operations as needed, and is often used in hardware development work.

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