Following the beta release of Apple’s iOS 5.1 firmware yesterday, developers have begun performing their customary investigations into the secrets hidden within Apple’s code. One such search has uncovered a new product identifier for an unreleased iPad 2 that hasn’t previously been spotted in the iOS software.

Sprint iPad 2 identifier

The iPad 2 product identifiers we already know about are ‘iPad2,1’, which is the Wi-Fi-only model; ‘iPad2,2’, which is the 3G-equipped GSM model built for AT&T; and ‘iPad2,3’, which is the 3G-equipped CDMA model built for Verizon. The new device, however, sports an ‘iPad2,4’ identifier, and could be a new model destined for the Now Network.

The iPad 2 has been rumored to be heading to Sprint in the past, but this is the first time we’ve seen any evidence for a fourth model. Having introduced Sprint to its iPhone family back in October — with the release of the 8GB iPhone and the new iPhone 4S — it certainly seems feasible that Apple would supply the carrier with its iPad 2.

Of course, these product identifiers by no means guarantee a new device, so this certainly isn’t concrete evidence that Sprint will get the iPad 2. However, we have no reason to believe Sprint won’t get the iPad at some point — it may just be that Apple waits until the iPad 3 is ready to launch before it introduces a third carrier to the device.

And that iPad 3 has also been spotted for the first time in the iOS 5.1 beta, with the identifier ‘iPad3,3’.

iPad 3 identifier?

Would you like to see the iPad 2 on Sprint?

[via 9to5Mac]