Apple will launch a keyboard accessory with a built-in trackpad in early 2020, according to a report from The Information.
Citing a source familiar with the matter, the site claimed that the company is preparing the keyboard for mass production.
Taiwan-based Foxconn Technology – which also manufactures Apple’s iPhone – will be one of the keyboard’s producers.
The source said the keyboard will likely be launched alongside the new iPad Pro, which is expected to be released at the company’s first event of 2020.
If Apple follows a similar launch schedule to the previous two years, the event is set to take place in the last week of March.
A laptop-like experience
If the device turns out to be delivered, it could indicate that Apple is pushing for the iPad Pro to be considered as a more viable alternative to conventional laptops.
Apple has revamped the iPad Pro’s software and hardware in recent years to be more aligned with what can be expected in a laptop.
The company launched iPadOS on 24 September 2019. The operating system boasts computer-like features, such as improved multi-tasking and support for external drives.
In terms of hardware, Apple loaded the 2018 iPad Pro with a processor which boasted performance comparable to certain MacBooks.
Additionally, the company changed the iPad Pro’s port from Lightning to USB-C – a standard which is becoming more common in computer peripherals.
Mouse support is already available in iPadOS, and the addition of a trackpad means users will be able to navigate with a mouse pointer without having to add an external device.
In addition to the reveal of the new iPad Pro, Apple is expected to launch its next smartphone in March.
Reports have indicated that the device will be called either the iPhone SE2, iPhone 9, or simply the iPhone.
It will reportedly come in the same form-factor as the iPhone 8, with a 4.7-inch display and the iPhone Home Button.
Rumoured pricing puts the entry-level 64GB model at $399 (R6,000).