First Generation iPad Prototype Fetches $10,200 in Online Auction

When word first leaked out that Apple was developing a tablet, many assumed the end result would cost consumers a small fortune. It's Apple, after all, and whether the so-call Apple Tax is real or imagined, Apple products usually tend to cost more than their Windows-based counterparts. So when Apple launched its first iPad starting at $499 -- a price point it's maintained for every subsequent generation iPad -- it was quite the pleasant surprise to the many folks who assumed the Cupertino outfit would charge much more, perhaps twice as much.

Well, there's finally an iPad that costs an arm and a leg. More specifically, a first generation iPad prototype recently generated a winning bid of $10,200 on eBay. In return, the winning bidder gets to own a piece of Apple history and one of just a handful of unique iPad tablets. How so?

A prototype 1st generation iPad tablet with two dock connectors sold for $10,200 on eBay.

"For starters, it has two dock connectors," the seller explains. "Apple prototyped these iPads to have this connector late in the process and at the last minute decided to remove them. 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."

That's right, the prototype is a functioning device, and it's running Apple's software testing suite called Switchboard. It will make a for a great conversation piece, for sure, and might even go up in value years down the road. The iPad did, after all, kick off the modern tablet craze that's changing the way we look at mobile computing.

Do you own any geeky collectables? If you're into this sort of thing, be sure to check out our pictorial tour of a retired World of Warcraft server, and drop a comment telling us about your own prized possessions.
Tags:  Apple, eBay, tablet, slate, ipad