Some may consider the iPad to be the true ancestor of modern tablets, but when it launched, it was practically a gigantic iPhone. This was true not only in the software experience, but in how the tablet should be used, that is, in portrait orientation. Many tablets today, especially the larger ones like the iPad Pros, are designed around a horizontal or landscape position and, once, the first iPad almost had a feature that would have tilted it in that direction as well.
The iPad’s large screen has made it perfect for certain types of content, such as videos, magazines and more comfortable web browsing. Even in its first incarnation, however, there were users who wanted to expand its use to things like content creation or more advanced uses that were not possible in the tiny size of the iPhone. This, however, would have required something like a dock accessory, and the placement of the iPad OG’s only connector made for an awkward position.
However, this was not the case initially. The prototypes of the first iPads showed that, at some point, Apple itself considered supporting both guidelines. This meant that the iPad would have two 30-pin connectors, one at the bottom, which remained in the final design, and one on the left side of the device.
According to the collector of rare Apple devices, Giulio Zompetti, this prototype did not survive the last stage of development of the Design Validation Test. No reason was given, but perhaps the fact that the iPad supports simultaneous loading from both ports would have significantly complicated the tablet’s hardware.
It probably would have been a very different tablet world if the iPad was launched with a second dock connector from the start. Of course, these days this has been discussed by the modern generation of tablets, some of which aim to replace the laptops that are always used in landscape orientation.