Like most companies engaged in cutting-edge hardware design, Apple carefully disposes of its prototypes. Every once in a while, though, one slips through the cracks and lands on eBay. The most recent prototype to leak out Apple’s research labs is an unusual iPad with two dock connectors.
As reported by MacRumors, the iPad includes a standard connector underneath the home button and a second one on the right hand side next to the volume rocker. Both connectors are fully functional and can be used to charge and sync the iPad in portrait or landscape orientation. Interestingly enough, this dual-connector design was depicted in a patent application that surfaced in 2010.
According to the eBay post, the unit is running SwitchBoard, diagnostic software that Apple uses to test its devices. The seller also points out the device has serial numbers and other external markings that suggest it is a genuine prototype. The eBay seller took the disassembled and discarded prototype and has repaired the device to almost-full functionality. Everything reportedly works except for the touchscreen, which is missing the cable that connects it to the logic board.
If you want to add an unusual piece to Apple hardware collection, you better act fast as the eBay auction will end on Monday May 28 (PDT) and, when this post was published, already has 16 bids that brings the price up to $6,600.