There are some seriously diehard Apple iPad fans out there - and they're willing to pay big bucks for a piece of their favourite tablet's history.
A seller on eBay has just sold what he claims is a first-generation A1219 iPad prototype for over $10,000. Originally listed for a hefty $4,800, the device amassed 28 bids and sold today for $10,200.00,
The prototype comes with two dock connectors and Apple's SwitchBoard software testing suite. It was allegedly built sometime between late 2009 or early 2010
"This is one of a VERY small amount of Apple prototype devices and you rarely see these on ebay," the item description explains. "Be aware this is a one of a kind item... It comes with no warranty, and is intended as a cool collectors item or if you're interested in the hardware or software on it."
Unlike the finished iPad which hit stores in 2010, the alleged protoype comes with two dock connectors. "Apple prototyped these iPads to have this connector late in the process and at the last minute decided to remove them," explains the seller. "There are patent drawings and leaked casings that show the indents for both dock connector holes, but this unit has both dock connectors and both are full functional for charging this iPad and connecting it to your computer."
The prototype also comes with a beta version of iOS 3.2 and Apple's software testing suite called SwitchBoard - which has some very unusual apps and logos. ('SkankPhone' anyone?) Meanwhile, various 'identifying numbers' help to identify which particular prototype it is.
According to the seller, the iPad prototype is fully functional - "apart from the touch screen, which may or may not be able to be fixed". A tablet without a working touch screen? That sounds non-functional to us. Still, as a collector's item for fabulously wealthy Apple cultists, we suppose it gets the job done.