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New 1st-gen iPad prototype images show Apple considered using two Dock connectors

Ipad Prototype With Extra Dock Connector
Ipad Prototype With Extra Dock Connector (Image credit: Giulio Zompetti)

What you need to know

  • Newly-shared images show an iPad prototype that includes not one, but two Dock connectors.
  • An additional Dock connector was placed on the side of the iPad for docking.

Apple's very first iPad shipped with a 30-pin Dock connector at the bottom, below the Home button. But newly-shared images show a prototype tablet that included not just that connector but an additional one, too.

The second Dock connector was placed on the side, presumably to allow users to place the tablet into a dock in landscape mode.

The images were shared by Giulio Zompetti, a collector of prototypes, with the claim that the secondary Dock connector was removed during a later development stage.

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Beyond the connectors, the first-gen iPad looked similar to the current 2020 iPad. The tablet also had an optional keyboard dock available which, thanks to the location of the Dock connector, meant the iPad had to be used in portrait mode. It's obvious why Apple considered adding another port on the side and I for one would be very interested to see why Apple decided to remove it before shipping.

Nowadays Apple ships various different tablets and they are undoubtedly the best iPas the company has ever made. Today, the use of the Smart Connector offers similar functionality to that provided by the second Dock connector shown in these images.

Apple is expected to announce new iPad Pro tablets as soon as next month with iPad mini also rumored to get a refresh sooner rather than later. A rumored March event hasn't happened, leaving April as the new window leakers are hanging their hats on.

Oliver Haslam
Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.