I can’t even believe it’s been 7 years since Steve Jobs unveiled the first iPad and took the world by storm. Laughed at by Steve Ballmer and co, the device went on to bury laptops, before they started coming back over the past two years. Now an iPad 1 prototype is being sold on eBay, for a pretty good price of $5000.
There’s no auction involved on eBay and you can just get the product if you pay the amount. In the long run this could be a good business, since such prototypes sometimes reach $20k or so as the years pass. Or maybe you’re a collector, who just has to have it. We’re talking about a prototype 16 GB model here, not the kind you’d find in any store, since it doesn’t even run iOS.
It’s meant for internal Apple testing and has an unsearchable serial number, plus it lacks the standard markings you would find on the back of an Apple slate. It doesn’t run iOS, but uses SwitchBoard. This is Apple’s internal software, used for testing and diagnostics. Other testing apps are also bundled, meant for troubleshooting and such purposes.
Once again this feels like good business, but it’s also a bit of a risk, since you may find out that nobody wants to buy it off you. Released in April 2010 in the States the first iPad feels clunky and huge now, with its big screen bezels, but it was sleek as hell when it launched. It felt like something out of the MacBook family and had amazing power when it came out.