The Apple rumor mill is smoking at this point.
Last week, the rumor mill went into overdrive as reports of a Verizon-bound iPhone kicked up a couple of notches. Today, the latest is that the company could be ready to start field-testing a Verizon iPhone and a new iPad to boot.
A posting on Boy Genius Report cites Apple sources who point to code within iOS4 beta firmware that would allow for the bypass of iTunes activation on three new devices: iPhone3,2, iPhone 3,3, and iProd 2,1. BGR says these new devices are the much rumored CDMA iPhone and a new iPad (the first iPad was listed in code as iProd 1,1 in August 2009).
Way down deep within iOS 4 is a pretty intriguing block of code. Our source says that the code queries the device, and if the device is either a CDMA iPhone or iPad 2, the device will auto-activate, thus bypassing the need for iTunes. We’re told this block of code has appeared every year consecutively before a major iPhone / device release, removed right before launch. This allows the products to be field tested by carriers (or partners) without having to activate the handsets or devices.
BGR speculates that Apple may have included this code so that AT&T or other carriers watching activation logs won't see new partners taking new devices for a test drive.