Some images of an early prototype version of the first-generation iPad have surfaced on the internet. The photos showcase a dual dock design that Apple considered for its first-ever iPad.
The images, shared by Giulio Zompetti on Twitter, showcase an early-stage prototype of the original iPad. In the images shared, we can see a thirty-port pin connector on both the bottom side and the left side of the iPad 1 prototype. For those who don’t know, thirty pin connector was the standard connector Apple used in all the devices until the release of the lightning port with iPhone 5.
According to Giulio, Apple was planning on implementing a dual-dock system with the first iPad. Connectors on both the side of the iPad would have easily allowed the original keyboard dock to work with it. This essentially means that you could have had attached the keyboard dock both in the portrait mode and in landscape mode. Apparently, the dual dock system would have also allowed the first iPad to support concurrent charging.
— Giulio Zompetti (@1nsane_dev) March 27, 2021
Sadly, the feature never made it out of the DVT (design validation test) stage of development. Even though Apple did not implement the dual dock design, the current generation iPads have a similar feature called the Smart Connector which uses magnets to connect to the Smart Keyboard and Magic Keyboard.
Many Apple devices’ prototypes have leaked in the past. A couple of months ago, iPhone 12 Pro prototype leaked showing a darker version of the Pacific Blue color that Apple could’ve opted for, and even the SpringBoard version of iOS 14.1. An early prototype of the iPhone 4s has also been leaked in the past.
The dual dock design could have been Apple’s first vision of replacing your laptop with an iPad. Unfortunately, Apple didn’t go ahead with the design, which in my opinion does look a bit odd, but it still makes me wonder how the iPad would have looked today had Apple implemented the dual-connectivity design on the first iPad.
What are your thoughts on the first iPad prototype? Would the dual dock system have helped you in any way had it been implemented on the first iPad? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!