The rumor mill is running out of time, as Apple will take the stage in less than 24 hours to reveal their last new products of 2013. Now is the time for everything to be thrown against the wall to see what sticks. With that said, there are also some “rumors” that are logical, or simple confirmations of expectations. Today, ex-Apple Developer Relations employee, and industry analyst Jamie Ryan has posted a piece that indicates that Apple has at lease been testing a keyboard case to go alongside the iPad 5. The report comes with the usual caveat that Apple tests multiple products that never see the light of day. Still, it’s not that far fetched as it has already been reported that Apple is working on new Smart Covers for the thinner form factor of the iPad 5, and why not take it a step further.
Even Apple’s invite to the October 22nd event came with the tagline, “We still have a lot to cover”. A keyboard based Smart Cover that resembles the Microsoft Surface touch cover, and the ASUS Transformer keyboard attachment would be an interesting addition to the iPad line. It’s also worth noting that the report specifically mentions that such an accessory would help distinguish the iPad 5 from the iPad mini 2, to make the 9.7” more of a pro line. Apple currently offers the Smart Cover, and the Smart Case, which both act as stands with a front screen cover. Adding in a keyboard with Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity would likely sell in bunches, even if it’s similar to Microsoft’s offering. The most interesting aspect is that Apple has an extensive patent application from August 2011 that goes over a number of neat potential additions to the Smart Cover. The patent shows a flexible keyboard prototype, but also shows inductive charging, solar panels, a flexible second screen, music playback controls, an e-paper notification display, and even a handwriting recognition panel.
A brand new Smart Cover could be a big part of tomorrow’s event, and we will see if it comes true soon enough.