Confirmed: Apple TV Runs iOS

A few months ago, developers rummaging through the USB configuration files in iOS found an entry for an unknown device named “iProd”. Originally, it was assumed that this device was a new iPad, but the new iOS 4.2 beta confirms that it is, in fact, the second generation Apple TV. What does this mean to users? For starters, since the new Apple TV runs a modified version of iOS instead of a slimmed down OS X, it has the potential to run applications from the App Store, and be jailbroken.

An entry in iOS 3.2 was referred to as iProd2,1, and we suspected that it was likely an early prototype of a next-gen iPad. However, an updated configuration file in iOS 4.2b1 reveals the same numeric product ID is attached to an entry for AppleTV2,1, referring to the second major hardware revision of the Apple TV.

Whether Steve will unleash the full potential of this new set-top-box is unknown (and I wouldn’t count on it), but it is entirely possible that the enterprising hacking community will crack it open anyways, as they did with the original Apple TV.

At $99, the new Apple TV could turn out to be more exciting than anticipated. It’s due to ship in “2-4 weeks”.

[Ars Technica]

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