As previously published back in October of 2011 when the last major iOS release was announced and released, here is some fresh information on this latest update to iOS 5.1 that may be useful.
How iOS 5.1 Could Affect Your Devices
On March 7th, 2012 Apple announced plans to release the iOS 5.1 update immediately to the public.
As with previous Apple iOS updates (please see http://blog.enterprisemobile.com/2011/10/ios-5-release-technical-services-bulletin), Enterprise Mobile expects that new devices procured shortly after the release will soon be pre-installed with iOS 5.1 instead of the previously released iOS 5.0.1.
For legal reasons, Enterprise Mobile will not be able to downgrade newly procured devices from iOS 5.1 back to iOS 5.0.1. This may also impact old devices that are sent to Apple repair, which may return upgraded.
The full listing of the iOS 5.1 security updates can be found here: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5192
The Safari privacy vulnerability and a long list of WebKit (Safari browser engine) have been patches. Also the Password unlock and Siri vulnerability have been patched.
Mobile Device Management (MDM)
It is not known if there are any new MDM features at this time included in iOS 5.1.
Because you may not be able to update your MDM solution before the iOS 5.1 release, Enterprise Mobile strongly recommends that you have any iOS access version controls verified and possibly disabled if necessary to permit new iOS 5 upgraded devices to connect and access business critical functions.
If the iOS devices are already running iOS 5 or iOS 5.0.1 and the devices have access to the Internet over WiFi, an upgrade prompt may appear. End users have the option to download and upgrade their devices over-the-air (OTA) or tethered with iTunes.
This is an example of the prompt that may appear:
Please note that the upgrade may be fairly large in size (approx 200Mb) and could impact the telecom data plan the iPhone or iPad using and your monthly data plan costs. Please contact your telecom provider for more information.
Please note that some of your end-users that will perform this on upgrade on their own, on the first day the software is available.
Enterprise Mobile can assist if a large scale upgrade of devices is required, and can work with your internal support personnel to speed the process.
Testing iOS 5.1
If you, or your company, is developing custom iOS applications, you are probably already a registered member of the Apple Developer program. Enterprise Mobile urges all developers to quickly and thoroughly test and validate that all their business applications run on iOS 5.1, with functionality retained. This can be done with a beta release, but also importantly with the final release version of the operating system as Apple is previously known to continue to add features and bug fixes up-to the final public release.