New photos shared on Twitter this week claim to show an early prototype of the first-generation iPad. While we’ve seen prototype images of the original iPad before, these images show that Apple had considered a docking system of some kind for the device …
The photos were shared on Twitter by user Giulio Zompetti, who collects rare Apple devices. He shared a trio of photos showing a prototype iPad 1, and elaborated on a mysterious port located on the left side of the device. This port appears to be another 30-pin connection.
Originally, Apple planned to have a dual dock system on its first tablet. The secondary port was on the left side of the device. Simultaneous charging was apparently supported.
According to Zompetti, the port was removed during a later DVT development stage. For reference, Apple̵
This is not the first we’re heard of Apple’s intentions to ship the iPad 1 with two dock connectors. One of these prototypes was actually auctioned off on eBay in 2012, and reports over the years have suggested that Steve Jobs scrapped the idea relatively close to the iPad release.
With the first generation iPad, Apple sold a Keyboard Dock separately for $ 69. This keyboard connected to the iPad via the 30-pin port at the bottom, and unfortunately it was a fairly short-lived accessory.
Today, Apple has welcomed this idea more openly with the Smart Connector, which is used to power and connect the Smart Keyboard and Magic Keyboard. While Apple initially probably had bigger plans for the Smart Connector, we have actually seen very few third-party accessories that take advantage of it over the years.
Do you think the iPad would look different today if Apple had gone ahead with the dual-connectivity design of the iPad 1? Let us know in the comments!
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