New iPads! That's the suspected plan for tomorrow's Apple event. With much of the consumer attention now turning to the more discreet form factor of the iPad Mini, Apple's iPad 5 needs to justify its full-size existence. And that justification may now come in the form of an Apple-built, pro-orientated keyboard cover.
According to ex-Apple employee and industry commentator Jamie Ryan, Apple has been working on "a few different styles" of iPad keyboard covers for a while. Though Apple already offers a Bluetooth keyboard that works fine with the iPad, it's a bit clunky, and doesn't come in a form that can integrate as seamlessly as a keyboard cover could. While Ryan stresses that the there are "thousands of no's for every yes" when it comes to Apple prototype testing, he believes that a Bluetooth 4.0 keyboard cover for the big iPad could help Apple market the larger tablet to professional users, leaving the Mini to content consuming casual users.
Of course, there are already plenty of third-party keyboard covers out there for the iPad, so Apple would have to do something a little bit special to justify making their own one after all this time. Perhaps an integrated TouchID sensor? [Jamie Ryan]
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