Apple is working on an iPad keyboard that includes a built-in trackpad, reports The Information, citing sources with knowledge of Apple’s plans.
Apple has reportedly been experimenting with trackpads for the iPad for a “number of years.” Some of the prototypes have featured capacitive keys, though it is not known if this feature is in the finished product. The Information‘s source says that the keyboard will be made from materials similar to those in Apple’s current Smart Keyboard Folio designed for the iPad Pro.
Apple is preparing the keyboard for mass production at the current time, and is expected to release the new accessory alongside the next version of the iPad Pro. Current rumors suggest the iPad Pro could be refreshed as soon as March, and Apple is expected to hold a March event (perhaps on March 31) to announce new devices.
If Apple does indeed unveil a new iPad Pro in March, we could see the rumored keyboard released at the same time. Up until now, all of Apple’s Smart Keyboards designed for use with iPads have only featured standard keyboard keys. A version with a trackpad would need to be significantly overhauled to make space for the trackpad design.
Back in January, Taiwanese site DigiTimes said that Apple is working on a Smart Keyboard with backlit keys and scissor switches, so it’s possible that the upcoming Smart Keyboard with trackpad will also have these features.