$10,200 iPad prototype likely stolen says eBay seller

“A first generation iPad prototype with two dock connector ports that showed up on eBay over the Memorial Day weekend sold for US$10,200, and the anonymous seller says the device was probably stolen before it ended up in his hands,” Jeff Gamet reports for The Mac Observer.

“The mystery seller said he expected Apple to contact him about the prototype, but hoped the company’s employees would be taking the holiday weekend off, giving him more time to sell the tablet — which seems to have worked out as planned,” Gamet reports. “The iPad is on its way to the buyer, who also chose to remain anonymous.”

Read more in the full article here.

Roberto Baldwin reports for Wired, “Apple has a storied history of reigning in people who deal in, or posses, its prototypes. An eBay auction for a MacBook Pro with a 3G antenna was stopped by Apple, and the seller later returned the hardware to Apple. And of course, the iPhone 4 prototype that Gizmodo purchased in April 2010 led to criminal charges (later dropped) against Gizmodo editor Jason Chen. Most recently, in the summer of 2011, an iPhone prototype was lost in a San Francisco bar by an Apple employee. The resulting investigation entailed Apple security searching a citizen’s home under the escort of the SFPD.”

“But the story of the dual-dock prototype, like its seller, is still shrouded in mystery,” Baldwin reports. “We reached out to him via eBay’s messaging platform, and he contacted us directly by phone from a blocked number. We still don’t know his real name, but we were able to glean some details about his sale… The seller says he hasn’t been contacted by Apple, and doesn’t think the company will be happy to talk to him. ‘I’m pretty sure any contact I have with them won’t be very positive,’ he said.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. Wow… So he admits publicly that he has knowingly received and made money from stolen property… secret stolen property.

    Yeah, it will be entertaining to watch this train wreck!

    1. Looks like a defacto admission of a crime. Does he think eBay is going to protect his identity? Does he think Apple won’t be able to influence the authorities to charge him? What a fool.

      Closely followed by the buyer. Even if you pay money for known stolen property, it’s not yours to keep. Hope he hasn’t sent the money yet. If the device actually exists.

    2. That’s not what the person said. The “stolen” part is simply speculation on their part. That does not absolve them of guilt, but he does not have direct knowledge of the iPad being stolen.

      Here is the full quote:
      “The seller, talking with Wired anonymously, said, ‘I don’t know if it was stolen from Apple, or if the person who was working with it kept it. Judging by how Apple works, it’s most likely stolen, but I’m not sure about that.'”

  2. Color me confused. Isn’t “knowingly selling stolen property” a felony, pretty much everywhere? Why isn’t eBay taking any action? I understand the sale is complete, but surely there must be something that can be done. This guy just confessed to a crime!


    1. My guess is it’s even better than that… it’s a fake and he just said that crap to give it some credibility to make a quick sale. Pretty good scam if you ask me…

  3. not sure why anyone would even want it. the seller said that it doesnt really work unless you push the display cable connector on harder. sounds like a real waste of 10k …

  4. I’ve been in this position before and I know how you end up with ‘stolen goods’ without knowing they are stolen at the time of purchase.

    I bought a pallet of laptops that I planned on re-selling. During my cleanup and OS install on the equipment I found one that already had an OS on it, not only did it have an OS installed it asked me to log into a well known company when it booted up.

    I questioned the entire purchase at that point. I could have just wiped it and sold it, but instead I contacted the company and provided the serial numbers for all the laptops I had in my possession. Turns out 6 of the 45 machines I had were from the same place.

    Things worked out for me and I got my money back and the company got their stolen equipment returned.

    I can see how you end up with ‘likely stolen property’ where things jump the shark is when you knowingly sell the property after discovering or suspecting it is stolen.

    The seller is playing with fire if you ask me.

  5. Maybe the whole thing is a hoax – both “seller” and “buyer” may be the same person. I mean, TWO dock connectors? Whatever for? To charge the battery twice as fast (you’d also need two of everything else – cable, power outlet)? To transfer data to/from two computers simultaneously? As a “spare” connector in case one fails? Neither of these things really makes sense. And claiming that the device was “probably stolen” gives him/her the cover to remain anonymous.

    No wonder Apple weren’t interested.

    1. Maybe i’m thinking too much, but maybe i’m not. The other dock connector would have been handy for docks that would allow landscape viewing of movies or pictures while charging, even iTunes looks better in landscape (to me)

      Just thinking….

  6. Good for him. If Apple lost or misplaced yet another device then it’s tough shit. Besides, who really cares? It’s a prototype. Other than a rich stupid fanboy who the hell would buy it? Geez!

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