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Apple reportedly readying an iPad Pro Smart Keyboard with built-in trackpad for 2020

iPad 7 Smart Keyboard
iPad 7 Smart Keyboard (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple is reportedly readying a new iPad Pro Smart Keyboard accessory.
  • It's said that the keyboard will have a built-in trackpad.
  • The product will reportedly launch this year.

Apple is reportedly getting ready to launch its first iPad Pro Smart Keyboard accessory with a built-in trackpad. The company is "preparing the keyboard for mass production" according to The Information (opens in new tab).

This would be the first time that Apple has shipped a keyboard that has a built-in trackpad after years of reminding everything that iPads are touch-first devices. That stance started to thaw when iOS 13 added an accessibility feature that allowed external pointing devices to be used. And now it appears that Apple is ready to take the next step by making trackpad input available to everyone willing to buy its accessory.

Apple is planning to release an iPad keyboard accessory later this year that will include a built-in trackpad, the latest step in its effort to position the tablet device as an alternative to laptop computers, according to a person familiar with the matter. The company will likely release the accessory alongside the next version of the iPad Pro expected later this year, the person added.

We don't yet know exactly when the trackpad-laden keyboard will arrive, but The Information suggests that we might see it alongside 2020's new iPad Pros. We've heard various rumors on that front, ranging from March to much later in the year.

Oliver Haslam
Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.

2 Comments
  • I'm interested in what Apple does with mouse/trackpad access in padOS. So far it's very limited. I played with it for an afternoon and then went back to the old way because it was easier. But if they keep improving it, and a keyboard with a trackpad built in it would suggest they will, I'm interested.
  • I can't imagine this is true, Jobs would be spinning in his grave. Third-party ones sure, but Apple have put a lot of effort into separating the iPad from the Mac, I don't understand why they would make their own unless it's going to come with some sort of hybrid OS