The original first-gen iPad was a monumental evolution in tablet technology. What was once a novel concept became a worldwide phenomenon that's only improved over time. However, the iPad that we know today could've been a different beast.
Apple's no stranger to switching up ports on iPads – no luck for iPhone – but their first-gen device could’ve had a surprising input setup. Instead of the single 30-pin connector on the bottom of the device, it could've had two!
What is the double dock iPad prototype?
Twitter user Giulio Zompetti posted footage of the unseen prototype online. The double dock iPad features a second 30-pin connector on the left side of the tablet for better mounting on accessories.
Apple's tablet did have a keyboard accessory that was developed and released, but it was something weird peripheral. With the retail tablet only having a bottom port, users had to type with the device in portrait mode.
With this sideways port, the first-gen iPad could've had a typing profile similar to that of a laptop/MacBooks. That design would return with Apple's wireless Magic Keyboard for their more modern tablets. Unfortunately, former Apple CEO Steve Jobs was not a fan of the two-port design.
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What's next for Apple's tablets?
Following the launch of the 2020 iPad Air, Apple has reportedly been working on the next generation of Pro tablets. Presumably planned for a reveal next month alongside the new iPhone 13, AirPods 3 and AirTags peripheral, the tablet will likely be another powerhouse release for Apple.
Reports claim that the new devices A15 chip will be close to the power of the M1 MacBooks chip. With the power of that chip easily besting the efforts from other ARM-based manufacturers like Qualcomm, it'll likely be a beefy chipset.
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