Every time Apple releases a new operating system (or for that matter, just a new version of an operating system) hardcore geeks among us start reading through all the system files, trying to find any hints at possible new products that haven’t been announced by Apple yet.
The same happened when Apple released the first beta of iOS 5 a few weeks ago. Found were some references to the next generation of iPhones and iPads, but nothing about a new iPod touch. This led many (including ourselves) to the assumption that there won’t be a new model of the iPod touch this year.
That is, until today, when a member of the iFans forum posted a screenshot showing the string “iPod 4,2.”
Found in a file named “com.apple.fairplayd.N81.plist” and located at /System/Library/LaunchDaemons, the string indicates that there is a product that Apple refers to as the iPod 4,2. This “product” was not mentioned before, although our colleagues over at TUAW thought they saw it in iOS 4.3.3, but then corrected their mistake shortly after.
This mention of a yet unknown iPod can be a hint at the fifth generation iPod touch, expected to be unveiled in September this year, following Apple’s usual iPod-refreshment cycle. In the past, Apple stuck with this cycle very well, giving the iPod touch major new features months or even years (e.g. the camera) after the iPhone.
Whether this “iPod4,2” string really refers to a new iPod touch is completely unclear at this time. All we know is that Apple has a name for something they are internally testing, otherwise it wouldn’t be there. The fact that the current model of the iPod touch is referred to as the iPod 4,1 means that this iPod 4,2 can’t be that much different, as Apple didn’t give it a major new model identifier. Whether this device will ever be released and in what form can only be speculated at this time.
So, go ahead and speculate with us in the comments. Do you think we’ll see an “all new” iPod touch this fall? And what new features will it have? What new features do you want?