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Apple prototyped models of the first-generation iPad with two ports for expanded docking options, according to images of a prototype unit.

ipad-two-ports-docking-1.jpg


Shared on Twitter by Apple device collector Giulio Zompetti, the images reinforce previous reports that Apple was planning to offer two 30-pin connector ports on the original iPad, with one on the base below the Home Button, and one on the left-hand side.

ipad-two-ports-docking-2.jpg


Zompetti explained that Apple was initially planning to offer a "dual dock system" on its first tablet. Presumably, this would have functioned in much the same way that the smart connector did on the first and second-generation iPad Pros, third-generation iPad Air, and seventh and eighth-generation iPad, in order to be able to connect to the Smart Keyboard or accessories such as Logitech's Logi BASE iPad charging dock in landscape mode. The two-port system apparently also supported concurrent charging.

Beyond docking in accessories such as keyboards, two ports could also have opened up the option for connecting to multiple wired accessories such as external hard drives or SD card readers via a dongle for compatibility with the 30-pin connector, without the need for a multi-port adapter.

Prototype first-generation iPads with two ports have been seen a number of times before, with some images even showing the internals of a two-port iPad. Patents depicting the dual-port design have also come to light in the past.

Apple reportedly chose to remove the feature in the design verification testing stage. While Apple has launched 22 different iPad models in six screen sizes, every iPad model to date has only had just one port for data transfer and charging.

Given that some iPad power-users hope that the tablet will one day feature more than one port to aid productivity, it is interesting that Apple considered implementing such a feature long before the creation of the iPad Pro or even the switch to a USB-C connector on some models. Some may believe that the images prove that Apple saw the iPad as a productivity-oriented device long before it was truly capable of doing so with features such as multitasking, the Files app, or mouse support.

Article Link: Images of Prototype Show Apple Planned iPad With Two Ports
 
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japanime

macrumors 68020
Feb 27, 2006
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Japan
Interesting, but not really news. The headline makes it sound like this is a new discovery, but the article links to years-old stories right here on MacRumors about two-port prototypes.
 
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Ultramove69

macrumors regular
Dec 23, 2017
111
328
Columbus Ohio, USA
It’s always fun to see prototype tinkering. There must be (what seems like) endless versions of hardware that either don’t leave a whiteboard, computer model, or prototype phase. It’s a shame that we never get to see some of the ideas that were conceived of early in design. It’s fascinating.
 

ITMacRN

macrumors newbie
Nov 20, 2008
18
15
Las Vegas, NV
There actually is a story behind this according to Wayne Goodrich, the man who produced keynotes for Steve Jobs:

"During iPad launch preparation, we were struggling to get the iPad “beauty shots” to look like Steve imagined they should look. We’d had multiple photo shoots and teams working literally to get one or two insanely great images of the iPad. He wanted a beauty shot with a clean edge and the Apple logo visible the right side up. The problem was this was not possible without seeing the long side iPad 30-pin connector. You may ask, there’s only one on the short side. At that point there were two, one on each side. That way you could dock it in landscape or portrait orientation.

I had thought he was satisfied with the beauty shots delivered since we’d moved on in the slide deck. But one night close to the keynote date, he decided he wasn’t happy with those beauty shots of the iPad. I was tired and knew that there was no way to make them any better.

So, that evening before shutting down for the night, I photoshopped out the port on the long side on a few of the shots and sent them off to him. I figured he’d see them in the morning and we’d have a good laugh about it. Instead he almost immediately called me as said, “These are exactly what I was looking for… oh you didn’t?” To which I replied, “I did” and the phone went click.

There was no way to get a beauty shot that Steve would accept with that port on the side, so the iPad shipped without it. It also simplified the presentation, which he liked."
 

EmotionalSnow

macrumors regular
Nov 1, 2019
239
711
Linz, Austria
There actually is a story behind this according to Wayne Goodrich, the man who produced keynotes for Steve Jobs:

"During iPad launch preparation, we were struggling to get the iPad “beauty shots” to look like Steve imagined they should look. We’d had multiple photo shoots and teams working literally to get one or two insanely great images of the iPad. He wanted a beauty shot with a clean edge and the Apple logo visible the right side up. The problem was this was not possible without seeing the long side iPad 30-pin connector. You may ask, there’s only one on the short side. At that point there were two, one on each side. That way you could dock it in landscape or portrait orientation.

I had thought he was satisfied with the beauty shots delivered since we’d moved on in the slide deck. But one night close to the keynote date, he decided he wasn’t happy with those beauty shots of the iPad. I was tired and knew that there was no way to make them any better.

So, that evening before shutting down for the night, I photoshopped out the port on the long side on a few of the shots and sent them off to him. I figured he’d see them in the morning and we’d have a good laugh about it. Instead he almost immediately called me as said, “These are exactly what I was looking for… oh you didn’t?” To which I replied, “I did” and the phone went click.

There was no way to get a beauty shot that Steve would accept with that port on the side, so the iPad shipped without it. It also simplified the presentation, which he liked."
A guy on Reddit also said that both ports couldn't be used at the same time.
 

ThunderSkunk

macrumors 68040
Dec 31, 2007
3,176
2,925
Milwaukee Area
Since iPad 1, I‘ve wished they put the port up the left side. The only instance in which I use ipads in portrait is if I’m reading, and even then only down a long webpage. The rest of the time it’s in landscape, especially when it’s on my desk or streaming Netflix, where it’s going to burn through a lot of battery & most likely needs to be on a charging dock. Landscape is also more stable and less prone to toppling. I cant imagine why they thought an iPad should sit in a dock in portrait.
 
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SirAnthonyHopkins

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Sep 29, 2020
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Since iPad 1, I‘ve wished they put the port up the left side. The only instance in which I use ipads In portrait is if I’m reading, and even then only down a long webpage. The rest of the time, it’s in landscape, and if especially when it’s on my desk, or when I’m streaming Netflix where it’s going to burn through a lot of battery. Landscape is also more stable and less prone to toppling. I cant imagine why they thought an iPad should sit in a dock in portrait.

to an extent yeah, but this is only true if you’re sitting it in a dock. If you’re just using a stand, having the port on the side would it difficult/impossible to charge it while in landscape. Or you’d have your charging cable sticking out of the top.
 

w5jck

macrumors 6502a
Nov 9, 2013
627
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K.I.S.S. For once I applaud Apple for going with the simpler look of just one port. I'm sure there are many here who would like a dozen ports, but the iPad in those days was not designed to be a laptop killer. If Apple had put everything in it that people here would have wanted, it would have been two inches thick and weighed 5 pounds!
 
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reyesmac

macrumors 6502a
Jul 17, 2002
601
243
Central Texas
Practicality has taken a back seat to style over and over again. They keep simplifying the manufacturing and servicing of their devices, we keep paying more for the privilege of using them. Prototypes show designs anticipating customer complaints or requests. If they complain they will just include it in a future update and charge a bit more for something they could have added a year earlier.
 
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DevNull0

macrumors 68030
Jan 6, 2015
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Apple was planning to offer two 30-pin connector ports on the original iPad, with one on the base below the Home Button, and one on the left-hand side.

Why does media always feel the need to be so click-baity?

Apple makes lots of prototypes of each product. Maybe it's something Apple considered but never seriously planned. Maybe Apple didn't know which side to put the port on so they made an early prototype with both so the testers could try it both ways without needing to make two different prototypes but leaving both ports one was never even considered.

This article is a work of fiction that is just beyond cringey "look at me" attention seeking. It sad that MacRumors has become trashy enough to post this article.

And the pictures are old anyway, that just makes it even worse of MacRumors.
 

japanime

macrumors 68020
Feb 27, 2006
2,305
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Japan
Hey Macrumors,

2012 just called. They want their article back!


The 2012 article is cited and linked in today's story:

Prototype first-generation iPads with two ports have been seen a number of times before, with some images even showing the internals of a two-port iPad.
 
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