Apple always makes prototype models of its upcoming products, though many of them never see the light of day. One such prototype of the original iPad showed up on eBay today, revealing some design decisions that Apple nixed.
When Apple was creating the original iPad, the company was considering the single dock connector design we all know and love, along with a second design that had two 30-pin dock connectors instead of one. Two dock connectors didn’t make it to the final product, but it did make it to the prototyping stage.
What would two dock connectors be used for? Well, the one we currently have was designed to be used in portrait mode, while a second dock connector was considered for landscape mode.
Apple had patents for both designs, and while Apple may have originally planned on incorporating dual dock connectors, the simpler single dock connector is the one that made it to market.
The device selling on eBay is a prototype of the original 16GB iPad, with one dock connector in the standard location and another on the left hand side of the screen.
This prototype is functional, though in rough shape. It has been disassembled for the photos, to prove that it is indeed a genuine prototype and not an elaborate fake. The innards, along with extensive documentation (including earlier part numbers and copyright dates than those seen on electronics in the original iPad) prove that this is the real deal. The auction ended at a price of $10,200 after 23 bids were placed for the device.
What do you think of the two connector design? Was Apple right to go for simpler functionality, or would a landscape dock be a useful addition?