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(Pocket-lint) - Apple is working on an iPad keyboard that features a built-in trackpad, and it could launch this year, according to a new report.

The Information claimed Apple even made keyboard prototypes with capacitive keys, although it's unclear if the final version of Apple's keyboard will sport that feature. Sources with knowledge of Apple's plans told The Information that it should have materials like the ones used in the Smart Keyboard Folio for iPad Pro, and that Apple is currently preparing the new accessory for mass production.

In January, Taiwanese site DigiTimes also said that Apple was working on a new iPad keyboard‌, but with backlit keys and scissor switches.

Keep in mind all of Apple's Smart Keyboards for the iPad come with standard keyboards. They don't have a trackpad, let alone backlit keys and scissor switches. If Apple's next keyboard case does introduce a trackpad or any of these rumoured features, it'd have a totally different design.

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Apple's new keyboard with a built-in trackpad should launch alongside the next version of the ‌iPad Pro‌, which would better position the premium tablet as a legit alternative to laptops, The Information noted. Keep in mind similar products do already exist for consumers. At CES 2020 in January, Brydge announced its own keyboard case for the iPad Pro that includes a built-in, multi-touch trackpad.

Apple is widely expected to hold a March event to announce its next crop of devices - that is, if coronavirus concerns don't interfere.

Writing by Maggie Tillman. Originally published on 27 February 2020.