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Legendary Apple iPad Prototype Tops $10,000 in eBay Auction

A rare first-generation iPad that sold on eBay last night for $10,200 (£6506) has confirmed enduring speculation that Apple tablets were originally designed with two dock connectors in mind.

When the iPad first popped up on shelves in 2010, it featured one dock connector in portrait mode, despite reports circulating that the tablet would also feature a second in landscape position, a feature Cupertino continued to flirt with.

Apple enthusiasts were left confused as early patent designs - attributed to Steve Jobs and the recently knighted Sir Jonathan Ive among others - clearly showed dual dock connectors, as did prototype photos leaked after the product's release.

The eBay listing for the tablet contains similar photos. It says the mythical device is "one of a VERY small amount of prototype[s]," and points out the hugely unique nature of the auction in addition to offering a potential explanation for the presence of the extra linking port on the tester unit.

"Apple prototyped these iPads to have this connector late in the process and at the last minute decided to remove them. This unit has both dock connectors, and both a full functional for charging and connecting it to your computer," the listing reveals.

The highly prized tablet, which has a 16 gigabyte capacity, is apparently being sold from New Jersey. Nothing is known about the buyer at this stage, except that they are now likely to be the envy of fan boys far and wide.