Tucked away in the iProd product UBDeviceConfiguration.plist file, we see information that seems to imply that this product is going to have an USB-Ethernet interface from the following string:
The iPod Touch doesn’t have the same Ethernet string in their USB configuration file. They have this (and so did the original prototype iProd):
Does this Ethernet reference mean iPhones and the new iProd are going to have the ability to plug into an Ethernet wall jack? Technically…sort of. It is a USB to Ethernet interface similar to the MacBook Air’s 10/100 USB-Ethernet adapter.
However, the purpose of this Ethernet interface for Apple in the iPhone is the wired USB tether (that AT&T still doesn’t support but you can enable here). The iPod touch doesn’t have this Ethernet interface because it doesn’t need to tether. It, like the iPhone, has a separate interface for its Wifi connection.
So I think it is logically safe to conclude that this "iProd" is also going to have the ability to do the same wired USB tether, making 3G Internet access a necessity. The only other reasonable alternative is that you’ll be able to use the iPhone to tether to this device. (Unless Apple’s plan is to have a wired tablet experience?)
We are hopeful that Apple allows its users to have a choice between carriers perhaps using something like Qualcomm’s Gobi 3G Chipset.