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iPad prototype with two docks sells for £6,500

A prototype first-generation iPad has gone under the hammer for £6,500, sporting not one but two dock connectors.

An old iPad has gone under the hammer for $10,200 (£6,500) -- and it doesn't even work. But what's interesting about this first generation iPad is that it's a prototype, sporting not one but two dock connectors.

The prototype tablet proves that Apple seriously considered giving the iPad a second dock connector in the side for landscape docking, allowing you to watch movies or play with apps widescreen-style while your iPad charges.

Showing up on eBay this week, the prototype iPad is estimated to have been built "sometime around late 2009 or early 2010". The seller described how Apple came up with the idea for a second connector "late in the process", and decided against it "at the last minute".

Some 23 bidders fought over the prototype, which has been refurbished by the seller after Apple disabled it. It's running a beta version of iOS 3.2 and Apple's testing software SwitchBoard, which includes apps called Rumble and Soundwave -- complete with Transformers-themed icons -- as well as a dialler test app called Skank Phone.

Apple's trademark connector has spawned a cottage industry of docks and adaptors, which might make a few people nervous about reports that Apple is considering a smaller connector on future iPads and iPhones.

The touchscreen doesn't work properly because it's missing a part to hold the digitizer, the layer on top of the screen that detects your pokes and prods. If the buyer has any change left over from their six grand, the part should cost them a couple of quid.

Other Apple prototypes to have found their way onto eBay include a 3G Apple MacBook Pro, while the handbuilt wooden Apple-1 broke records by fetching £133,250 at Christie's in 2010.

Do you think the second connector is a good idea, or does it detract from the sleek design? And how much would you pay for a piece of Apple history? Record your thoughts for posterity in the comments or on our Facebook page.