Rumour | Apple to launch the iPad Pro 2020 series next month alongside a Smart Keyboard with a built-in trackpad
Rumour has it that Apple will refresh its iPad Pro lineup next month, with the company apparently bringing the triple rear-facing camera array of the iPhone 11 Pro series to its premium tablets. While the iPad Pro 2020 series is expected to include an SoC upgrade too, there has plenty of talk about what Apple may include in an upgraded Smart Keyboard.
Last month, for example, DigiTimes reported that Apple could be bringing scissor-switches and backlighting to the keyboard accessory. Presumably, bringing these features to the Smart Keyboard would necessitate a complete redesign. However, the overhaul may not stop there.
Now, The Information claims that Apple will integrate a "built-in trackpad" within a new Smart Keyboard. Citing a "person familiar with the matter", the move is apparently an extension of Apple's strategy of positioning the iPad Pro series as laptop alternatives.
Please keep in mind that this is unverified, and outlandish rumours this close to a product release tend to be wide of the mark. While Microsoft and Samsung have shown how to integrate a trackpad within a detachable keyboard cover, one popular Apple blogger thinks that Apple may take a different approach with the next Smart Keyboard.
Assuming that the company is bringing a trackpad to the keyboard accessory, Benjamin Mayo argues that the trackpad will not be used as a dedicated iOS cursor. Instead, it will be there to improve the typing experience, with Mayo tweeting the following:
...I am imagining a Smart Keyboard that has capacitive keys so you can get a ‘trackpad’ by gliding two fingers over it, like the iOS software experience but in hardware on the same horizontal plane as your hands.
Regardless of what features Apple integrates within a new Smart Keyboard, it remains unclear how or when the company will announce an iPad Pro refresh. Currently, the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak makes it unlikely that the company will host a physical event, at any rate.