May 29, 2012

iPad Prototype, Dual Connectors, sells for $10,000

It may not have a Retina display or quad-core graphics. Hell, it’s not even brand new, or even very clean. But it’s a freak of iPad nature, and it just sold on eBay for $10,200.

As if witnessing the spectacle of a two-headed snake, Apple enthusiasts were awed by this prototype of the original iPad, which includes not one, but two dock connectors. Like all hardware companies, Apple creates a number of prototype designs to test product durability and performance, and flesh out ideas.

In this particular hardware study, it would appear that Apple was imagining a tablet that would have a dock connector positioned for both landscape mode and the portrait mode orientation with which we’re all familiar. It’s worth noting that Apple even went so far as to file a patent for the dual-dock connecting beast.

Whoever won the eBay auction paid a hefty price for a device that is “fully functional apart from the touch screen,” according to the listing. The seller noted that the clip that holds the display’s flex cable could be replaced, and that holding the connector down leads to sporadic touch functionality.

The nearly useless iPad is running Apple’s SwitchBoard suite, which is used for software debugging. The installed software, along with the second dock connector, helps substantiate the seller’s claim that the device is a prototype.

-By Roberto Baldwin for

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