updated 11:19 am EST, Tue February 18, 2014
Changes won't affect most of the public
iOS 7.1 should ship "around March 15," and incorporate an overhaul of Apple's existing mobile device management (MDM) platform, a source tells AppleInsider. The company is said to be working with several MDM vendors and institutional clients on the overhaul. It has already launched a new Volume Services website, which is reportedly still in testing but includes options like "Automate MDM Enrollment" and "Buy Apps and Books in Volume." The new tools are expected to go live around the same time as iOS 7.1.
One signature of the new MDM platform is said to be over-the-air supervision of iOS devices, which will allow organizations to monitor and secure large-scale deployments. A given example is schools, where IT admins should be able to set and lock profiles and data in a way that can't be easily undone by students. The OTA system will further be able to operate without Configurator, Apple's OS X MDM software, which is aimed more at small organizations.
The new MDM technology is expected to be one of the few major upgrades in iOS 7.1. Recent betas have concentrated mostly on bugfixes and visual tweaks.