updated 03:30 pm EST, Wed February 8, 2012
iOS 5.1 gets tentative launch window
New digging in the iOS 5.1 beta has given a possible clue as to Apple's target date for the OS. About 11 new carrier profiles all have references to an Apple diagnostic web address with "09Mar2012-Update" in the timeframe, suggesting to YourDailyMac's discoverer that the date was at least being kept in mind for a launch or a milestone. It touched on all existing iOS devices and at least five countries, pointing to a simultaneous release.
Whether or not March 9 pans out isn't definite. As a beta, iOS 5.1 isn't a firm commitment and could see Apple change the date in a later test version. The expiry dates for betas, for example, have often been used to push developers into upgrading to later betas rather than setting a release date. Apple doesn't often commit to dates of the sort within carrier profiles, however.
The full scope of the update isn't clear, but it should allow manual Photo Stream control and restore 3G controls. It also appears to be laying groundwork for a third-generation iPad that multiple rumors have put in March.