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iPad prototype with dual dock connectors shows up on eBay [u]

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
An alleged original iPad prototype with two dock connectors has made its way to eBay, backing rumors that the company was indeed looking into a tablet design that featured two docking ports.

Update: Sold for $10,200 to unidentified bidder.

iPad Prototype


The mostly-assembled unit put up for auction on Sunday sports two 30-pin connections, one for docking in the normal portrait orientation and one for landscape, possibly proving that Apple was thinking about releasing the tablet with dual connectors before ultimately scrapping the idea for unknown reasons.

Following the release of the first iPad in April 2010, photos of alleged prototype case backs were leaked showing the standard hole made for the connector near the tablet's home button as well as a corresponding hole on the device's side. At the time it was thought that the parts were prototypes of an upcoming iPad model, but it seems that they were in fact test units for the first-generation tablet.

The device up for auction is a 16GB Wi-Fi only model that has been refurbished by the seller to almost-working condition. According to the listing, all of the internals are original prototype parts except for battery which was replaced after Apple reportedly had it removed. Also missing is the securing clip that holds down the display's flex cable, and the seller notes that the screen's touch functionality is sporadic.

iPad Auction
Original iPad prototype auction showing landscape dock connector and internals. | Source: eBay


Adding further legitimacy to the device's pedigree are printed part numbers and a serial number that turns up as invalid in Apple's database. One of the pictures shows what appears to be a circuit board with a date beside Apple branding and part numbers, suggesting that the prototype was made in 2009.

iPad Auction 2
Device running Apple's Switch Board diagnostic software. | Source: eBay


At the time of this writing, the auction remains at $4,800 with one bidder and will end a little after 9pm PST. The seller is offering a "buy it now" option for $10,000 through direct message.
post #2 of 18
Quote:
Skankphone

 

Ah, it was going to have AT&T hardware. 

 

What would be in that corner they blurred out?

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply
post #3 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Adding further legitimacy to the device's pedigree are printed part numbers and a serial number that turns up as invalid in Apple's database.

 

The fact that the serial number is invalid adds legitimacy?

post #4 of 18

If it was valid, it means someone just dremeled a hole in a plain iPad....

post #5 of 18

I have a device that has a part number of 449N23 and it's not in the Apple database so it must be an Apple device.

Starting bids at $100K

post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_CA View Post

I have a device that has a part number of 449N23 and it's not in the Apple database so it must be an Apple device.

Starting bids at $100K

and you obviously don't.

bb
Reply
bb
Reply
post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post
and you obviously don't.


Yes, that's the point he's making.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply
post #8 of 18
I wonder why there seem to be so many prototypes being sold by various people. Are they being stolen from Apple, removed from some trash heap, sold or given away with Apple's blessing, or created by outside companies that Apple has no direct control over?

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply
post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post
I wonder why there seem to be so many prototypes being sold by various people. Are they being stolen from Apple, removed from some trash heap, sold or given away with Apple's blessing, or created by outside companies that Apple has no direct control over?

 

I doubt Apple is giving away prototypes or having them made by outside companies. 

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post

and you obviously don't.

I obviously don't what?

Yes, I do have a device with a serial number of449N23 that is not in the Apple database. Never said it had anything to do with Apple.

However, since it's not in the Apple database, that must prove it's a real Apple device (at least according to this article).


Edited by Chris_CA - 5/28/12 at 3:05pm
post #11 of 18

Really? What's the value in owning something like this?

post #12 of 18

Seems legit, especially the test screen. Won't be long before Apple takes the sale down.

post #13 of 18

Had it been there, would have confused the novice users like hell !! People would wonder, boy is this the only Landscape orientation possible? and the Apple call centers had to go through queries like "what is the is the correct landscape mode? the one with dock connector on the bottom or on top? to the left of home button or on the right?"

duh!

post #14 of 18
Thank goodness they didn't keep that model. 1 connector is enough
post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I wonder why there seem to be so many prototypes being sold by various people. Are they being stolen from Apple, removed from some trash heap, sold or given away with Apple's blessing, or created by outside companies that Apple has no direct control over?

supposedly the prototypes are often built at Foxconn so this could be one taken from there. someone might have gotten an order for 15 and had the line make 16 and walked out with the extra one. Or claimed one failed some test. That the touch response is not perfect could bear that out

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

Reply

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

Reply
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by LighteningKid View Post

The fact that the serial number is invalid adds legitimacy?

No, it just means it's not a regular production device, i.e., a prototype. That it is an iPad made by Apple is proved by other factors, such as the Apple branding on the circuit boards.
post #17 of 18
The biography could explain why they decided on a single connection port:

The process began with Jobs and Ive figuring out the right screen size. They had twenty models made—all rounded rectangles, of course—in slightly varying sizes and aspect ratios. Ive laid them out on a table in the design studio, and in the afternoon they would lift the velvet cloth hiding them and play with them. “That’s how we nailed what the screen size was,” Ive said.
As usual Jobs pushed for the purest possible simplicity. That required determining what was the core essence of the device. The answer: the display screen. So the guiding principle was that everything they did had to defer to the screen. “How do we get out of the way so there aren’t a ton of features and buttons that distract from the display?” Ive asked. At every step, Jobs pushed to remove and simplify.
At one point Jobs looked at the model and was slightly dissatisfied. It didn’t feel casual and friendly enough, so that you would naturally scoop it up and whisk it away. Ive put his finger, so to speak, on the problem: They needed to signal that you could grab it with one hand, on impulse. The bottom of the edge needed to be slightly rounded, so that you’d feel comfortable just scooping it up rather than lifting it carefully. That meant engineering had to design the necessary connection ports and buttons in a simple lip that was thin enough to wash away gently underneath.
post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

The biography could explain why they decided on a single connection port:
The process began with Jobs and Ive figuring out the right screen size. They had twenty models made—all rounded rectangles, of course—in slightly varying sizes and aspect ratios. Ive laid them out on a table in the design studio, and in the afternoon they would lift the velvet cloth hiding them and play with them. “That’s how we nailed what the screen size was,” Ive said.
As usual Jobs pushed for the purest possible simplicity. That required determining what was the core essence of the device. The answer: the display screen. So the guiding principle was that everything they did had to defer to the screen. “How do we get out of the way so there aren’t a ton of features and buttons that distract from the display?” Ive asked. At every step, Jobs pushed to remove and simplify.
At one point Jobs looked at the model and was slightly dissatisfied. It didn’t feel casual and friendly enough, so that you would naturally scoop it up and whisk it away. Ive put his finger, so to speak, on the problem: They needed to signal that you could grab it with one hand, on impulse. The bottom of the edge needed to be slightly rounded, so that you’d feel comfortable just scooping it up rather than lifting it carefully. That meant engineering had to design the necessary connection ports and buttons in a simple lip that was thin enough to wash away gently underneath.

 

Wow, that's incredible attention to detail. I shouldn't be surprised, but still am.

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