What’s claimed to be a prototype original iPad has surfaced on eBay. Its most interesting feature? A choice of dock connectors on the portrait and landscape sides.
Apple prototypes do show up online from time to time — and normally get yanked down by Apple’s legal department quick smart if they’re actually genuine. There’s no real way to ascertain if this particular model is genuine, but based on the number of photos, somebody’s gone to a lot of trouble if it is an elaborate fake. It’s not entirely functional — the battery is an OEM part and it’s noted there’s a missing digitiser cable — but what’s interesting is the inclusion of docking ports on two sides. That’s congruent with Apple’s tablet patents, and it’s an interesting bit of design that hasn’t taken hold elsewhere. I’m not totally sold on it — two dock connectors double the number of points where you could get grit or moisture or whatever into a tablet — but at the same time, it would be somewhat handy.