We’ve been tipped that a prototype iPad 2 with a test version of iOS has appeared on eBay with an asking price of $5000. The device, a 3G enabled iPad 2 with 16GB appears to be running an operating system that Apple uses for testing hardware known as SwitchBoard. The OS contains several apps that are known to be unique to Apple test software such as BurnIn and GrapeCal.
The device is notably lacking the electronic certification symbols from agencies like the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) which appear on the rear panel of all iPad units that are for sale to the public, indicating that it’s entirely possible for this device to be an unreleased prototype. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to see the serial number on the images provided, which could offer information on whether the unit is an EVT (Engineering Verification Test) or DVT (Design Verification Test) unit.
This isn’t the first time that an Apple device with SwitchBoard software has appeared on eBay. In April 2010, 9to5Mac reported that two iPod touch devices appeared on eBay running the same development SwitchBoard OS software but were quickly pulled by Apple. An iPhone 4 was also spotted with the same software prior to release.
More information on each of the apps that are shown on the iPad can be found here. As can been seen from the screenshot, there are a couple of apps on the iPad that aren’t listed like Operator, ThermalDOE and Reliability. Others, like CameraFA, Burnin, GrapeCal and SkankPhone are known to be internal Apple hardware test applications.
Thanks for tip Mick.