Prototype Original iPad with Dual Dock Connectors Surfaces

Ever since its initial introduction in early 2010, the iPad has offered a single dock connector oriented in portrait mode. But a rumor just prior to that introduction had indicated that the device would include a second dock connector designed for landscape orientation, and patent applications filed on the design of the iPad similarly showed two dock connectors.

We've heard that Apple did originally plan to use dual dock connectors but scrapped the idea in favor of simplicity with just a single port, and a photo of a rear shell with holes for two connectors that surfaced in late 2010 indicated that Apple was indeed at least prototyping a dual dock connector design.

ipad dual dock 1
Further evidence of Apple's work on the dual dock connector design has now surfaced in a new eBay listing for a prototype 16 GB original iPad that contains two dock connectors, one each in portrait and landscape orientations.

ipad dual dock 2
Landscape dock connector on prototype iPad

The prototype iPad is in nearly functional condition, although it appears that minor repairs to the touch sensing capabilities are needed. While it is possible that a second dock connector could be faked with appropriate tools and spare parts, extensive documentation on the listing in the form of detailed photos appears to be consistent with the device being a genuine Apple prototype. Several components carry earlier part numbers and copyright dates than seen on corresponding components in the released original iPad, and the device is running Apple's SwitchBoard diagnostic software.

ipad dual dock 3
The device does not contain the "iPad" name printed on its shell, instead including a prototype identification number in a number of locations on the rear shell and front bezel. The regulatory text section on the rear of the prototype includes "X" placeholders for the device's battery rating, and also includes a placeholder listing for a Broadcom Wi-Fi chip included in the device.

The starting bid on the listing for the prototype iPad is $4,800, and the auction ends shortly after midnight Eastern Time tonight.

Related Roundup: iPad
Buyer's Guide: iPad (Caution)
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Top Rated Comments

ArtOfWarfare Avatar
157 months ago
Apple auction takedown notice in 3 2 1?

I'm guessing the reason the auction is going to be so brief (starting today and ending at midnight?) is to try completing the auction before Apple can react. Pick a holiday so that everyone is off work, and with any luck, Apple will be sufficiently delayed with so much staff enjoying their long weekend.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AngerDanger Avatar
157 months ago
:apple:Can't wait for Tim "Commu-apple-" Cookster to send police to get this down. Only Apple would do this, in fear of losing potential buyers of their current devices. Not Samsung, not Asus, no one would do this but the Communist-Manifesto Freaks known as Apple. Sorry this is just a vent, angers me how this collective group of abusers can get away with this :mad::confused:

You're criticizing Apple for something they haven't done yet. It's bizarre.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Menopause Avatar
157 months ago
glad they changed from that UI

That's a prototype UI to test basic functionalities? Every prototype has it.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
justperry Avatar
157 months ago
The question is, how did this get out of Apple's secure environment?
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cRuNcHiE Avatar
157 months ago
Apple auction takedown notice in 3 2 1?
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mars478 Avatar
157 months ago
Wow interesting. Judging by these photos it seems that the connector where the second dock connector is connected to is STILL present on 1st gen iPad motherboards. So it seems Apple got lazy and didn't remove the connector on the motherboard. Feasibly, if you were to get the 2nd dock connector ribbon cable you could hook it up to your first gen iPad. The connector is the bottom left one 2nd from bottom. As you can see in iFixit's teardown, nothing is connected to it when they tore it down.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)