We have already seen pictures of an alleged iPad 2 prototype featuring dual dock connectors, one on each side of the device. Today Patently Apple has found out that the European Trademark Office published a series of designs related to an iPad model featuring multiple 30-pin dock connectors.
The patent was filed in July 2010 and published three days ago. Both Steve Jobs and Jonathan Ive are mentioned in the design credits, so maybe something's really happening this time? I don't know - just like every tech company, Apple files a lot of patents - but it's interesting to notice that the design patent was filed in July, months after the release of the iPad. Perhaps Apple listened to user's feedback?
Design Credits: CEO Steve Jobs, Senior VP of Industrial Design Jonathan Ives + team members Jody Akana, Bartley Andre, Daniel Coster, Daniele De Iuliis, Evans Hankey, Richard Howarth, Duncan Kerr, Shin Nishibori, Matthew Rohrbach, Peter Russell-Clark, Christopher Stringer, Eugene Whang and Rico Zorkendorfer. The noted design above is number 0001.1 of application 001222905-0001. Seven angles in all were presented but only two that show the extra connector.
Like I said many times in the past, such design would be very un-Apple but it would also open a huge market for dual-orientation iPad docks and stands. Truth be told, I think it'd also be terribly useful. We'll see.