Apple is reportedly working on an iPad keyboard with a built-in trackpad due to launch later this year alongside the next-generation iPad Pro. The keyboard accessory will be another step from Apple to position the iPad Pro lineup as a laptop replacement for many.
The keyboard accessory will be manufactured by Foxconn for Apple. The keyboard will be made from a similar material as the one that Apple currently uses in its Smart Keyboard Folio.
The report says that Apple has been experimenting with a built-in trackpad in keyboards for the iPad Pro for quite a few years now. Some of the prototypes featured capacitive keys, though it is unclear if the final version of the product will also have them or not. A previous rumor from earlier this year claimed that Apple intends to launch a new keyboard for the iPad Pro in 2020 featuring scissor-switch keys.
It will be interesting to see how Apple manages to make space for the trackpad in its keyboard for the iPad Pro without greatly increasing its overall dimensions. It is possible that the company could only launch this accessory for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro first. We have seen some third-party keyboards for the iPad Pro featuring a trackpad. Apple added native mouse support to iPadOS 13 as an accessibility feature and it is expected to further build on it in iPadOS 14.
Apple is rumored to refresh its iPad Pro lineup in March alongside the iPhone 9. The company could also possibly announce the new Smart Keyboard with a trackpad at the same time then. Rumors point to Apple holding an event on March 31 for the announcement.[Via The Information]