The 2020 iPad Pro could debut alongside a scissor switch Smart Keyboard

The 2020 iPad Pro could debut alongside a scissor switch Smart Keyboard
The 2018 iPad Pro and Smart Keyboard

UPDATE:DigiTimes has published further information which suggests the new Smart Keyboard accessory will also be backlight. The original story continues below.


Apple has offered a compatible Smart Keyboard for several iPad models for quite some time now, but pretty soon the popular accessory could receive an important upgrade that’ll improve the user experience.

The Smart Keyboard typing experience could soon improve

Taiwan-based publication DigiTimes (viaMacRumors) claims Apple is developing a new version of the Smart Keyboard accessory that uses a scissor switch mechanism, much like the one introduced on the 16-inch MacBook Pro last November.

Full details are yet to be provided but the change should make for a much more satisfactory typing experience. After all, the current-generation accessory uses a rubber dome design that doesn’t provide as much travel and is not quite as firm. 

The new and improved Smart Keyboard is expected to debut alongside the 2020 iPad Pro series in March. Interestingly, though, this timeline contradicts a previous one provided by reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Although Apple may have fast-tracked the scissor switch Smart Keyboard in recent months, Kuo claimed back in July that Apple wouldn’t update the accessory with the newer keyboard design until late 2021.

Instead, he expected the Cupertino giant to focus its keyboard efforts on the forthcoming 13-inch MacBook Pro refresh and the MacBook Air which should be updated later in the year.

What will the 2020 iPad Pro series offer?

The front of the 2020 iPad Pro lineup isn't expected to be any different, but a pretty big change is planned over on the back. That's because Apple is replacing the single-camera layout with a triple-camera setup much like the one featured on the iPhone 11 Pro.

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The news means buyers should be able to access a 12-megapixel main camera and a 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle shooter. The third camera, on the other hand, remains a mystery because some reports mention a 2x telephoto camera and others point towards an advanced 3D sensing system that's even more powerful than Face ID.

The latter will reportedly be used to push Apple's AR content and should make its way over to the iPhone 12 Pro series in September. It's going to be accompanied by the powerful A13X Bionic chipset inside the iPad Pro series.

An even more premium iPad Pro could be on the way

Later in the year, Apple could announce a premium version of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro complete with a next-generation A14X Bionic. The main differentiator, however, looks set to be the display.

Apple's iPad models have historically used LCD screens, but the premium iPad Pro will reportedly use a mini-LED display that incorporates an impressive 10,000 LEDs. This technology is meant to bridge the gap between the OLED displays of today and the micro-LED screens of the future, the latter of which will eventually be used on Apple Watch models and iPhones. 

Completing the package will reportedly be 5G network connectivity as standard thanks to the latest mmWave technology provided by Qualcomm's Snapdragon X55 modem. This provides faster speeds at shorter distances, making it perfect for use in dense urban areas where iPad Pros are more common.

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