It was bound to happen one day, but few expected iOS 5.1 to include references to this many unannounced products, including one recently uncovered iPhone 5,1 which designates (what else?) the next-generation iPhone 5.
The iPhone 5 product number appeared alongside a myriad of other new product IDs, such as J33 for an unannounced Apple TV, or iPad 3,3 and iPad 2,4 for next-generation iPads and a potential updated variant of the existing iPad 2.
iPhone 5,1 is by far the most intriguing of the lot, mainly because the iPhone 5 is quite possibly the most highly anticipated device for 2012.
Just so you know devs aren’t mistakenly interpreting the code found in iOS 5.1, I’d like to point your attention to the evolution of the iPhone since 2007 (original Apple iPhone) to date (iPhone 4S).
iPhone1,1 = First iPhone
iPhone1,2 = iPhone 3G
iPhone2,1 = iPhone 3GS
iPhone3,1 = iPhone 4
iPhone4,1 = iPhone 4S
Admittedly, not every point .1 or point .2 designation has been a minor upgrade of the same device. In the same manner, not every major increment has translated into a major refresh either - iPhone 4-to-4S being the most relevant example here.
And while Apple has its own ways of keeping track of the hardware, certainly iPhone 5,1 won’t translate into a third device built on the same chassis.
Plus, the iPhone 5 will most likely pack a ton of new technologies, including new cellular standards, a bigger screen etc. - all of which will cause it to morph into a completely different device.
Rumor has it Apple has been playing around with prototypes that had tapered backs like the iPad and iPod touch. But more recent chatter suggests those rumors didn’t tell the whole story.
Suffice to say we don’t have any certain facts to convey to you, but seeing iPhone 5,1 in the iOS 5.1 beta code sure sounds promising.