Patent applications and rumors in the past have pointed to the existence of an iPad with dual dock connectors, and today, via an eBay listing, we know that Apple indeed manufactured such iPad prototypes in a small quantity before the actual launch.
The iPad prototype being auctioned in the eBay listing is a first generation, 16GB, Wi-Fi only model with two dock connectors, one each for portrait and landscape mode. It runs a beta version of iOS 3.2 alongside Apple’s software testing suite called “SwitchBoard.”
Although Apple intentionally disabled the device and removed its battery, the seller managed to get the prototype working except for the touchscreen. In normal cases this would be a deal breaker, but since this prototype is meant to be a collectors item, it shouldn’t matter much.
Since the prototype was manufactured before the specs were finalized, the numbers at the back are nothing but ‘X’s, and the serial number of the device shows up as invalid on Apple’s website. The seller says the prototype was built somewhere around late 2009 or early 2010.
Apple, for good reason, shelved the design, but the choice of docking the iPad in both, portrait and landscape mode would have been nice.
Click on the image above to see the slideshow of all the photos of the first-gen iPad prototype with two dock connectors
You can buy it right now for $10,000 or place a bid above $4,800 and hope that no one’s willing to pay more than you. The auction ends in 10 hours. Here’s the eBay link.