An alleged first-generation iPad prototype featuring two dock connectors has appeared on eBay, prompting rumours that Apple had previously experimented with a tablet design incorporating two docking ports.
The eBay listing was posted with a series of accompanying images that show a 16GB iPad 1 with two dock connectors – including the same dock port we see at the bottom of the first-gen iPad model released in 2010. The second dock connector appears on the side of the iPad model, allowing for a docking connection in landscape view.
The sighting follows speculation and numerous patents surfacing over the years that indicate Apple may have considered including two dock ports in its first-generation tablet. “Apple prototyped these iPads to have this connector late in the process and at the last minute decided to remove them,” seller aaps69 writes on the eBay post.
The unit does not have any iPad trademarks, just a prototype identification number.
“All parts on this iPad are original prototype parts, except for the battery, which was removed by Apple, and I replaced it with an OEM iPad Battery.” the seller writes.
“The iPad contains many identifying numbers on it which disclose which particular prototype it is, and in the interest of safety I have blurred out all possible identifying numbers”.
The alleged prototype was built “sometime around late 2009 or early 2010″ with a tradmark date of 2009. At the time of writing this article, the current bid was US$10,000 with less than four hours left on the auction.
UPDATE: The iPad prototype auction has now closed, with the winning bid at US$10,200.