Apple Working with Accessory Makers on New Smart Connector Accessories


A new report from Fast Company details why even two years after its launch, Apple’s Smart Connector for the iPad has failed to take off among accessory makers. Apple first debuted the Smart Connector with the 12.9-inch iPad Pro almost two years ago. Since then, only four accessories have hit the market which make use of the connector. 

Out of these four, one is Apple’s own Smart Keyboard for its iPad Pro lineup. The other three products are offered by Logitech which include two keyboards and one docking station.

The lack of adoption of the Smart Connector among accessory makers for the iPad Pro stems from a variety of reasons. As per Fast Company’s sources, this includes high costs for the Smart Connector components, long wait times, and trouble in sourcing the required components. Additionally, some accessory makers straight up preferred Bluetooth as it is simpler, cheaper, and faster to implement.

Accessory makers offered several explanations for the slow start. One source cited wait times and high costs for Smart Connector components. Other accessory makers simply praised Bluetooth as a better fit, at least for iPad keyboards.

Making matters worse is tough competition from Apple’s own Smart Keyboard accessory. The ‘pro’ iPad market is still not big enough for multiple Smart Keyboard alternatives to survive, and Apple working closely with Logitech to develop an alternative Smart Keyboard that was available on the same day as the original iPad Pro did not help things either. Logitech has consistently released new Smart Connector featuring accessories whenever Apple has released a new iPad Pro.

Other accessory makers have also found the Smart Connector implementation from Apple on the iPad Pro extremely limiting.

Apple has confirmed to Fast Company that multiple OEMs are now working on Smart Connector accessories, but it is always possible that many of them will just not see the light of the day. It also remains to be seen if these new accessories will offer something new in terms of functionality as well or not.

[Via Fast Company]

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