In the weeks and months leading up to the unveiling of the original iPad in 2010, there were all sorts of rumors about what Apple’s tablet device: what it might look like, what sort of features it might have, how much it might cost, and so on. There were even rumors about what it might be called – iSlate was the most common, though iTablet was kicked around as well. The choice of “iPad” surprised pretty much everything, and subjected the tech world to enough feminine hygiene-related jokes to last a lifetime.
At any rate, one of the rumors that was widely believed was that the iPad would have dual dock connectors – one beneath the home button (where it is now), and one on the side for when the iPad was being used in landscape mode. Numerous reports, component leaks, and a patent application seemed to confirm this, yet when the device was actually unveiled, there was only one dock connector – a design choice that Apple has held to in two subsequent generations.
So, what happened to that second dock connector? Apparently Apple decided at the last minute to remove it. It seems, however, that there are still a few prototypes floating about. In fact, one of them made its way onto eBay over the weekend. The prototype was built for testing purposes and includes Apple’s Switchboard platform for testing hardware (based on the icons, it looks like Apple is populated by Star Wars and Transformers fans; try to contain your shock).
According to the eBay listing, the device isn’t fully functional. It seems that Apple deliberately disables these units when its done with them, and the seller says in the item description that the touchscreen only works sporadically, and that the batter had to be replaced. Apparently, though, a piece of Apple history is still worth a pretty penny even if it doesn’t quite work. The auction ended shortly after midnight, Eastern time. After 23 bids, the prototype iPad sold for $10,200 (with free shipping, which is always nice).
The listing includes lots of pictures of the device. Here are a few that clearly show the second dock connector:
The auction began over the weekend with a starting price of $4,800. It had a Buy It Now option for $10,000.