Well according to one Apple fan with a lot of money — yes it does.
Over the weekend, a prototype of Apple’s first-generation iPad was listed on eBay and sold for more than $10,000. The most interesting part about this prototype? It featured two connecting pin docks — one in its traditional location and one that allowed it to be docked horizontally.
Before we get into the logistics of this impressive sale, let’s talk about an iPad featuring two docks.
When the first iPad came out, I waited in line (only for 15 minutes!) on opening day and bought the iPad and a dock to charge it in. I loved the dock for charging, but if I was sitting in bed or at my desk, I hated how I couldn’t dock it in horizontally. I probably use my iPad horizontally 75 percent of the time — so why won’t Apple let me charge from that side?
Also, when you’re reading on an iPad that has a low battery and must stay plugged in, there is nothing more annoying that that cord awkwardly bending in ways that feels uncomfortable. The more options the better.
My guess? It had to be a design issue that Apple’s team wasn’t happy with. Everything needs to be as simple as possible, and adding another dock connector could possibly make it look cluttered.
Component pricing could also be a factor. It’s another part that you’re putting into a device that sells for $500-$850. You want to make the largest profit possible.
And then it’s just a matter of space. While the dock doesn’t look it takes up a lot of space, on the inside it certainly does. Battery life is more important than an extra connecting dock — I’d take more battery over comfort any day.
Now back to this story. Forbes reports that the iPad prototype seems pretty legitimate, although the seller said in his eBay post that it’s touchscreen is not operational. Only a hardcore fan would want that.
Or maybe someone from Apple? It’s unclear how Apple really feels about one of its product prototypes being sold on eBay. The biggest reason for concern is that the prototype may have never belonged to the seller.
This should be a great story in the making. iPhone 4 and Gizmodo all over again? Maybe.