A wild dual-dock prototype iPad appears!

A recent eBay listing is showing off what is supposedly a prototype first-generation 16 GB iPad with a secondary dock connector on the side. We had known about the possibility of a landscape-dockable iPad ever since we saw an early rear casing, but this is the first time we've seen such a fully-assembled prototype. The testing software suited called SwitchBoard is currently loaded, which in and of itself would be fun to check out. In its current state, the touchscreen is unfortunately not working, but that might be fixed if you can find a clip to secure the ribbon from the iPad's digitizer. The battery is also not an original, since Apple had it removed. It's currently running a beta of iOS 3.2 and bears the same A1219 model number as all other first-gen Wi-Fi iPads.

It sure is fun getting to see this early stage stuff, even well after the original device has been released. This dual-dock iPad is quite the collector's item, if nothing else, and who knows - maybe there are some secrets about Apple's pre-production process to be unearthed from tinkering around with this thing. For example, a few weeks ago a guy from British Columbia was selling an early-stage Mac with transparent casing so they could do smoke tests and see how airflow works within a particular design. The same guy is currently trying to sell a fully restored Lisa system for $24,995, and as you might expect, this prototype iPad also means big bucks.

The current bidding sits at $4,800, with a buyout price of $10,000. Anyone biting? You only have until 9 PM Pacific tonight to get in on the action. Would anyone have preferred if the iPad had its dock set for portrait rather than landscape? Would having both really been practical, or was this just for testing purposes?

Source: eBay via MacRumors