A prototype model of the first-generation iPad has been sold on eBay for a whopping $10,800. Purportedly one of the later test versions to have been created before Apple launched its premier tablet device, it has a couple of features not seen on the final consumer release.
For starters, the prototype has two dock connectors, so that it can be charged and communicate with a dock both vertically (as normal) and horizontally. And both of these ports still work on the sold device.
Second, the eBay item has Apple's software testing suite, SwitchBoard, still installed.
Unfortunately, it seems that the touchscreen is faulty on the unit, with a problem with the "digitizer" cited. "This iPad is fully functional apart from the touch screen, which may or may not be able to be fixed," posted the seller, aaps69.
"One of the clips that holds the ribbon down on the digitizer is missing and I do not have one available to replace it with. I do know however, that when I applied pressure to the connector that was missing the clip, the iPad's digitizer responded sporadically to touches."
However, clearly this was not enough to put off a collector from paying big bucks to own a slice of gadget history - although, as it was originally on a "buy it now" offer of $10k, $800 less that the new owner paid for it, you have to wonder about how savvy they might be.
And, indeed, what Apple might think about its prototype models being so readily available. Outside of Cupertino wine bars, that is.
Would you pay top whack for a prototype gadget? And if so, what one? Let us know in the comments below...