Apple Obscures Future Device Hints in iOS 5.1 Beta 2 with Fake References

One popular hobby of those interested in discovering hints of Apple's future iOS devices has been the examination of various configuration files in each beta and public version of iOS for new entries referring to future iOS devices.

While the references provide essentially no information on the new devices themselves, as they simply appear in the form of "iPhone4,1" for what ultimately became the iPhone 4S as one example, they are carefully watched as hints of what devices Apple is likely to be testing with the software and perhaps how many variations of an upcoming device there might be.

fake ios device references
With today's release of iOS 5.1 beta 2, Apple has now taken steps to obscure that information, planting numerous fake references within configuration files typically examined for such evidence.

One file in particular, USBDeviceConfiguration.plist, had formerly listed about two dozen different device variants. As discovered by 9to5Mac's Mark Gurman, that list has now ballooned to well over 100 such entries as Apple has seeded it with dozens of new fake references to such future products as "iPad10,1", "iPhone11,3", "iPod11,1", and "AppleTV8,3".

The change is likely to make it more difficult to detect new additions, as the new entries will serve as placeholders until Apple quietly begins using the software on its latest devices under development.

Update: As noted by @chronic, the change does not shut out examination of the evidence entirely, as unaltered listings are still visible in other locations. Apple also apparently began adding the fake references in the first iOS 5.1 beta, but only with beta 2 did they make it into the closely-watched USBDeviceConfiguration.plist file.

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Top Rated Comments

BC2009 Avatar
162 months ago
Holy crap..... Apple is going to have a very big next year. How am I going to afford all those new gadgets? :)
Score: 74 Votes (Like | Disagree)
xionxiox Avatar
162 months ago
Thank you Apple. Continue to fill your configuration files useless data, eating up precious space on my devices.

I'm pretty sure all this information amounts to about 20 kb. :rolleyes:
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gmcalpin Avatar
162 months ago
I've wondered why they didn't do this before, every time one of these references was discovered.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ChrisA Avatar
162 months ago
Who would have thought of hiding trees in a forest?
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
xionxiox Avatar
162 months ago
Looks like Apple is going Android manufacturers' style by crapping out devices a week after another.

You really think apple didn't ever work on next generation devices before current generations were released? Contrary to popular belief, development doesn't begin a month before the announcement.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Small White Car Avatar
162 months ago
Everyone knows there will be a new iPhone and new iPad every year. No big deal. Nobody cares.

I take this change as evidence that some new un-known product (TV?) is coming. Something like that would be very obvious under the old system.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)