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.

Top Rated Comments

BC2009 Avatar
136 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
136 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
136 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
136 months ago
Who would have thought of hiding trees in a forest?
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
xionxiox Avatar
136 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
136 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)

Popular Stories

apple ar headset concept 1

Apple's Headset Said to Feature 14 Cameras Enabling Lifelike Avatars, Jony Ive Has Remained Involved With Design

Friday May 20, 2022 6:50 am PDT by
Earlier this week, The Information's Wayne Ma outlined struggles that Apple has faced during the development of its long-rumored AR/VR headset. Now, in a follow-up report, he has shared several additional details about the wearable device. Apple headset render created by Ian Zelbo based on The Information reporting For starters, one of the headset's marquee features is said to be lifelike...
anker 563 dock ports

Anker's Latest USB-C Docking Station Brings Triple-Display Support to M1 Macs

Wednesday May 18, 2022 7:06 am PDT by
While Apple's early M1-based Macs can only officially support a single external display, there are ways around the limitation. Anker is launching a new 10-in-1 USB-C docking station today which delivers just that. The Anker 563 USB-C dock includes two HDMI ports and a DisplayPort port, and it leverages DisplayLink to carry multiple video signals over a single connection. Given that this hub...
apple data auction iphone privacy ad

Apple Highlights iPhone's Latest Privacy Features in New 'Data Auction' Ad

Wednesday May 18, 2022 9:00 am PDT by
Apple today shared a new ad highlighting iPhone privacy features like App Tracking Transparency and Mail Privacy Protection that are designed to give users more transparency and control when it comes to their personal data being collected. The ad revolves around a young woman named Ellie who discovers that her personal data is being sold at an auction house, with bids being placed on her...
Prosser Series 8 3

Apple Watch Series 8 Rumored to Feature New Design With Flat Display

Wednesday May 18, 2022 6:21 am PDT by
The Apple Watch Series 8 could feature an all-new design with a flat display, according to the leaker known as "ShrimpApplePro." In his latest video on the YouTube channel Front Page Tech, Jon Prosser highlighted information from ShrimpApplePro that suggests the Apple Watch Series 8 could feature a flat display in what seems to be a design originally rumored for the Apple Watch Series 7. ...
sony headphones 1

Sony's New WH-1000XM5 Headphones vs. Apple's AirPods Max

Friday May 20, 2022 12:18 pm PDT by
Sony this week came out with an updated version of its popular over-ear noise canceling headphones, so we picked up a pair to compare them to the AirPods Max to see which headphones are better and whether it's worth buying the $400 WH-1000XM5 from Sony over Apple's $549 AirPods Max. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. First of all, the AirPods Max win out when it comes ...
iPhone 14 Purple Lineup Feature

Will the iPhone 14 Be a Disappointment?

Saturday May 21, 2022 9:00 am PDT by
With around four months to go before Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 14 lineup, the overwhelming majority of rumors related to the new devices so far have focused on the iPhone 14 Pro, rather than the standard iPhone 14 – leading to questions about how different the iPhone 14 will actually be from its predecessor, the iPhone 13. The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are expected...
apple ar headset concept 2

Apple's AR/VR Headset Nearing Completion as Board Gets Demo

Thursday May 19, 2022 9:52 am PDT by
Apple last week demonstrated its upcoming AR/VR headset to Apple board members, indicating that the device is in an advanced stage of development and could see a debut in the not too distant future, reports Bloomberg. Apple has also ramped up development of the software that runs on the headset, with that software expected to be called "RealityOS," or rOS for short. Render via designer Ian ...