Images of Prototype Show Apple Planned iPad With Two Ports

Apple prototyped models of the first-generation iPad with two ports for expanded docking options, according to images of a prototype unit.

ipad two ports docking 1

Shared on Twitter by Apple device collector Giulio Zompetti, the images reinforce previous reports that Apple was planning to offer two 30-pin connector ports on the original ‌iPad‌, with one on the base below the Home Button, and one on the left-hand side.

ipad two ports docking 2

Zompetti explained that Apple was initially planning to offer a "dual dock system" on its first tablet. Presumably, this would have functioned in much the same way that the smart connector did on the first and second-generation ‌iPad‌ Pros, third-generation iPad Air, and seventh and eighth-generation ‌iPad‌, in order to be able to connect to the Smart Keyboard or accessories such as Logitech's Logi BASE ‌iPad‌ charging dock in landscape mode. The two-port system apparently also supported concurrent charging.

Beyond docking in accessories such as keyboards, two ports could also have opened up the option for connecting to multiple wired accessories such as external hard drives or SD card readers via a dongle for compatibility with the 30-pin connector, without the need for a multi-port adapter.

Prototype first-generation iPads with two ports have been seen a number of times before, with some images even showing the internals of a two-port ‌iPad‌. Patents depicting the dual-port design have also come to light in the past.

Apple reportedly chose to remove the feature in the design verification testing stage. While Apple has launched 22 different ‌iPad‌ models in six screen sizes, every ‌iPad‌ model to date has only had just one port for data transfer and charging.

Given that some ‌iPad‌ power-users hope that the tablet will one day feature more than one port to aid productivity, it is interesting that Apple considered implementing such a feature long before the creation of the iPad Pro or even the switch to a USB-C connector on some models. Some may believe that the images prove that Apple saw the ‌iPad‌ as a productivity-oriented device long before it was truly capable of doing so with features such as multitasking, the Files app, or mouse support.

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Top Rated Comments

Reason077 Avatar
41 months ago
Hey Macrumors,

2012 just called. They want their article back!

https://www.macrumors.com/2012/05/28/prototype-original-ipad-with-dual-dock-connectors-surfaces/
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
555gallardo Avatar
41 months ago
Not exactly a news since this prototype was shared online some time ago, but still nice to see it again.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ITMacRN Avatar
41 months ago
There actually is a story behind this according to Wayne Goodrich, the man who produced keynotes for Steve Jobs:

"During iPad launch preparation, we were struggling to get the iPad “beauty shots” to look like Steve imagined they should look. We’d had multiple photo shoots and teams working literally to get one or two insanely great images of the iPad. He wanted a beauty shot with a clean edge and the Apple logo visible the right side up. The problem was this was not possible without seeing the long side iPad 30-pin connector. You may ask, there’s only one on the short side. At that point there were two, one on each side. That way you could dock it in landscape or portrait orientation.

I had thought he was satisfied with the beauty shots delivered since we’d moved on in the slide deck. But one night close to the keynote date, he decided he wasn’t happy with those beauty shots of the iPad. I was tired and knew that there was no way to make them any better.

So, that evening before shutting down for the night, I photoshopped out the port on the long side on a few of the shots and sent them off to him. I figured he’d see them in the morning and we’d have a good laugh about it. Instead he almost immediately called me as said, “These are exactly what I was looking for… oh you didn’t?” To which I replied, “I did” and the phone went click.

There was no way to get a beauty shot that Steve would accept with that port on the side, so the iPad shipped without it. It also simplified the presentation, which he liked."
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Spock Avatar
41 months ago

Not exactly a news since this prototype was shared online some time ago, but still nice to see it again.
Came here to say the same thing, I am pretty sure that I have seen prototypes of this before a few years ago.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bassanoclapper Avatar
41 months ago
Or did they just include two ports on the prototype to see which variant worked better, rather than planned a dual port iPad?
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
EmotionalSnow Avatar
41 months ago

There actually is a story behind this according to Wayne Goodrich, the man who produced keynotes for Steve Jobs:

"During iPad launch preparation, we were struggling to get the iPad “beauty shots” to look like Steve imagined they should look. We’d had multiple photo shoots and teams working literally to get one or two insanely great images of the iPad. He wanted a beauty shot with a clean edge and the Apple logo visible the right side up. The problem was this was not possible without seeing the long side iPad 30-pin connector. You may ask, there’s only one on the short side. At that point there were two, one on each side. That way you could dock it in landscape or portrait orientation.

I had thought he was satisfied with the beauty shots delivered since we’d moved on in the slide deck. But one night close to the keynote date, he decided he wasn’t happy with those beauty shots of the iPad. I was tired and knew that there was no way to make them any better.

So, that evening before shutting down for the night, I photoshopped out the port on the long side on a few of the shots and sent them off to him. I figured he’d see them in the morning and we’d have a good laugh about it. Instead he almost immediately called me as said, “These are exactly what I was looking for… oh you didn’t?” To which I replied, “I did” and the phone went click.

There was no way to get a beauty shot that Steve would accept with that port on the side, so the iPad shipped without it. It also simplified the presentation, which he liked."
A guy on Reddit also said that both ports couldn't be used at the same time.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)