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.

Related Roundup: iPad
Buyer's Guide: iPad (Neutral)
Related Forum: iPad

Top Rated Comments

Reason077 Avatar
16 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
16 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
16 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
16 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
16 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
16 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)

Related Stories

iPad Air Feature 2

iPad Air 5 Rumored to Feature M1 Chip, 8GB RAM, and 128GB Base Storage

Tuesday March 8, 2022 3:52 am PST by
The fifth-generation iPad Air will feature a range of significantly upgraded internals, according to an unverified but increasingly plausible report coming out of Asia. According to a post from the account "yeux1122" on the Korean blog Naver, the fifth-generation iPad Air will feature the M1 chip. As a result, the iPad Air is also destined to be paired with 8GB of memory, the post claims. ...
ipad air 5 colors

Benchmark Results Confirm Apple Hasn't Downclocked M1 Chip in New iPad Air

Monday March 14, 2022 7:49 am PDT by
Benchmark results for the new iPad Air reveal that Apple has not downclocked the M1 chip to artificially limit the device's performance. The M1 chip in the fifth-generation iPad Air has the same 3.2GHz operating frequency as it does in the iPad Pro, according to Geekbench 5 results. As such, the M1 iPad Air has virtually identical performance as the M1 iPad Pro. Specifically, the M1 iPad...
hyperdrive multi display dock 1

HYPER Debuts 15-Port Dock That Supports 3 4K Displays

Monday November 15, 2021 10:02 am PST by
HYPER today announced the launch of its latest dock, a 15-port version that is designed for the 13, 14, 15 and 16-inch MacBook Pro models. The HyperDrive 4K Multi-Display Docking Station supports up to three 4K displays on larger Mac machines. There are three HDMI ports and three DisplayPorts, all of which support 4K displays at up to 60Hz, along with a Gigabit Ethernet port, a 100W USB-C PD ...
ipad air m1 2

Some iPad Air 5 Users Complain About Creaking and Build Quality Downgrade

Sunday March 20, 2022 6:36 am PDT by
Some fifth-generation iPad Air users are complaining about a purported downgrade in build quality, according to posts on social media. The complaints claim that the iPad Air has a noticeably thinner aluminum enclosure, resulting in creaking, a hollow sensation in the hand, and light pressure on the back of the device warping the display. A thread on Reddit (via iMore) contains a large number ...
iPad Air Feature 2 teal

iPad Air 5 to Offer Long-Overdue Features

Monday January 31, 2022 2:25 am PST by
Apple is poised to launch the fifth-generation iPad Air in the spring, offering an array of features that have largely already come to other iPad models, according to recent reports. According to Japanese blog Mac Otakara, Apple is planning to give the fifth-generation iPad Air features from the sixth-generation iPad mini, including the A15 Bionic chip, a 12-megapixel Ultra Wide front camera ...
iPhone SE 3

Apple Now Accepting Pre-Orders for New iPhone SE and iPad Air

Friday March 11, 2022 5:01 am PST by
At Tuesday's "Peek Performance" event, Apple introduced refreshed versions of the iPhone SE and iPad Air. Both devices are available for pre-order from today, along with Apple's new Green and Alpine Green color options for the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro. The new iPhone SE, which replaces the second-generation version, starts at $429, up from $399 on the 2020 model. It features the same...
iP14 Lightning Portless Feature blue

Apple's Lightning Port is Nearing Its Expiration Date, So What's Next for the iPhone?

Monday February 28, 2022 7:12 am PST by
When Phil Schiller introduced the Lightning connector at the unveiling of the iPhone 5 in September 2012, he called it "a modern connector for the next decade," and with that 10-year mark coming up later this year, questions remain over what the future of the iPhone looks like and whether or not that future will include a Lightning port, or perhaps no port at all. Every iPhone since the...
studio display

Studio Display Supports 5th-Gen iPad Air, But Not the 4th-Gen or the iPad Mini 6 [Updated]

Wednesday March 9, 2022 3:26 am PST by
Update: Apple has since confirmed to MacRumors that plugging in a fourth-generation iPad Air or iPad mini 6 into the Studio Display will result in a downscaled 1440p output. According to Apple, the new 27-inch 5K Studio Display supports a range of Macs going back to 2016 MacBook Pro models, but its compatibility with iPads is notably limited to the 11-inch iPad Pro, 12.9-inch iPad Pro...

Popular Stories

2022 back to school apple

Apple Launches 2022 Back to School Offer: Up to $150 Gift Card With Mac or iPad

Friday June 24, 2022 5:08 am PDT by
Apple today launched its annual "Back to School" promotion for college/university students in the United States and Canada. This year's promotion offers a free Apple gift card with the purchase of an eligible Mac or iPad, rather than free AirPods like last year. Apple is also offering students 20% off AppleCare+ plans during the promotion. Apple is offering a $150 gift card with the purchase ...
airpods pro 2 1

AirPods Pro 2 Said to Feature Upgraded H1 Chip, Find My, Heart Rate Detection, USB-C and More

Friday June 24, 2022 9:48 am PDT by
The next-generation AirPods Pro could come with a long list of new features that include heart rate detection, the ability to function as a hearing aid, and a USB-C port according to a report from 52Audio. The site claims that it has received new information on the AirPods Pro 2, and it has used that information to provide some renders on what the earbuds might look like. Design wise, there...
m1 mac mini screen

Gurman: Apple Planning M2 Pro Mac Mini, New Apple TV With A14 Chip, Revamped HomePod With S8 Chip, and More

Sunday June 26, 2022 6:31 am PDT by
In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter for Bloomberg, Mark Gurman outlined additional M2 Macs on Apple's product roadmap, including new Mac mini models with M2 and M2 Pro chips, new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with M2 Pro and M2 Max chips, and a new Mac Pro tower with M2 Ultra and "M2 Extreme" chips. Following the M2 series of Macs, Gurman said the first M3 series of...
apple ar headset concept 1

Apple Rumored to Announce 'Game-Changer' AR/VR Headset in January 2023

Friday June 24, 2022 2:52 am PDT by
Apple is "likely" to announce its long-rumored mixed-reality headset as soon as January 2023, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has reiterated. Concept render based on purported leaked information by Ian Zelbo In a detailed post on Medium, Kuo explained that Apple's headset will be a "game-changer" for the augmented-reality and virtual-reality market. Describing some of the headset's...
widgets ios 16 feature

Gurman: iPhone 14 Pro to Feature Always-On Display Showing iOS 16's New Lock Screen Widgets

Sunday June 26, 2022 7:36 am PDT by
iPhone 14 Pro models are widely expected to feature always-on displays that allow users to view glanceable information without having to tap to wake the screen. In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter for Bloomberg, Mark Gurman said the feature will include support for iOS 16's new Lock screen widgets for weather, fitness, and more. "Like the Apple Watch, the iPhone 14 Pro will be...