What will happen to the guy who sold the iPad prototype?
A man sold a prototype of the first-generation iPad earlier this week for $10,200, but now that there’s a likelihood he came across the item after it was stolen, it poses the question: What will Apple do about it?
The seller, who posted the unique two dock-connector iPad on Ebay on Memorial Day, said he bought the device from a colleague but doesn’t know how he came across the item.
“I don’t know if it was stolen from Apple, or if the person who was working with it kept it,” the man told Wired. “Judging by how Apple works, it’s most likely stolen, but I’m not sure about that.”
The seller, who did not reveal his identity to the publication to protect himself from Apple, said he purposely chose Memorial Day weekend to sell the item.
“I knew that Apple wouldn’t be as active over the weekend, and I had a better chance of Apple not taking it down,” he said.
The man said he made a bigger profit than he expected for the prototype, selling it to a buyer whose identity he also did not reveal, though he did say it was someone in the U.S.
But now, it’ll be interesting to see if Apple attempts to recover the device. In the past, the Cupertino tech company has not been shy about going after pieces of its test devices that ended up in the hands of others.
Last year, the company stopped an auction for a prototype of its MacBook Pro line that featured an antenna. And afterward, the would-be seller ended up giving the machine back to Apple.
Apple also did not take lightly news in 2010 that one of its iPhone 4 prototypes had been sold to Gizmodo after it had been left behind at a bar by one of its employees. In fact, the people involved in selling the phone ended up getting sentenced to probation last year.
And when another phone went missing last year, the tech giant sent investigators, along with officers of the San Francisco Police Department, to search a man’s home.
Where that leaves the seller and the buyer of the this latest Apple prototype remains to be seen, but the anonymous seller told Wired, “I’m pretty sure any contact I have with [Apple] won’t be very positive.”
But it’s not all bad for Apple. The seller — who claims he sold another Apple prototype before, though he didn’t specify what it was — said he plans to put all the money from the auction back into Apple.
“I plan to save it and buy a new iPhone 5 or new MacBook Pro when it comes out,” he said. “It will definitely get back to Apple.”