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AppleInsider is reporting today that Apple's iOS 4.1 beta contains references to several unreleased iOS devices, including "iPod4,1", "iProd2,1", and a curious "unknownHardware" entry.

Apple is internally testing the first material update to its iOS 4.0 mobile operating system against a handful of new devices, including next-generation iPod touches, an iPad revision, and an "unknown" product, AppleInsider has discovered.

According to people familiar with the matter, the latest beta of iOS 4.1, due to ship in the coming weeks, includes three new "Configuration Descriptors" within its USB configuration files -- all of which pertain to devices that list "Apple, Inc." as their "manufacturer" -- as can be seen in the screenshot below.

The significance of the report is unclear, however, as all of these references have been known for quite some time. The iPod4,1 and iProd2,1 references first appeared in iPhone OS 3.2 back in April, with the iProd widely believed to be a second-generation iPad device. The iProd2,1 designation showed up again just days ago in configuration files showing devices that could be auto-activated for field testing by carriers.

The "unknownHardware" entry, while curious, is not new either. The exact same entry popped up in iPhone OS 3.0 way back in March 2009. It also carries some significant differences from entries for Apple's other devices, including a lack of a name and description and a five-digit product ID number compared to the four-digit, mostly sequential ones used in other entries. As such, it seems likely that the entry is a placeholder or sample code of some sort, and it is nearly impossible to read much of anything into the information.

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