Apple Smart Cover patent

A sketchy video recently asserted Apple’s Smart Cover for iPad has undergone a redesign that may launch Tuesday alongside new iPads. Suspiciously, we’ve seen no credible leak whatsoever to support the thesis. Though Apple’s filed for a number of iPad keyboard cover patents, it’s unclear in what direction it might take the Smart Cover come tomorrow.

If you ask a former Apple engineer, however, the company is seeking to address the success Microsoft has seen with Touch Type covers for the Surface by releasing its own Surface-inspired keyboard case for the new iPads that will incorporate a physical QWERTY keyboard and a bunch of other functions…

Gizmodo UK points us to a blog post by Jamie Ryan who lists Apple Developer Relations as a recent job. Ryan thinks Apple has prototyped a Bluetooth keyboard case for the full-size iPad, speculating the company might unveil the new accessory at tomorrow’s event.

It’s not just keyboards either. I’m told other cover like accessories are also being looked at.

Now I must stress that what was seen were only prototypes and they might never get to see the light of day. Apple regularly mocks up all sorts of accessories and products and ditches them. 1000 no’s for every yes etc.

Speculating further, he thinks a Surface style iPad keyboard case would let the company differentiate the full-size iPad from the iPad mini and position it as more of a pro device.

The company is said to be unhappy with its own standalone Bluetooth keyboard for the iPad as “it’s not quite as integrated as Microsofts offering” and requires “a lot more bag space”.

Apple realises the market for the large iPad is mainly professionals looking to work on it whereas the iPad mini is mainly content consumption.

You’d be hard-pressed to take the report at face value.

On the other hand, Apple’s been researching new Smart Cover technologies for quite some time. First, past Apple job posts have indicated that the company is actively researching solar-powered devices.

More importantly, last August the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) published an Apple patent application titled ‘Cover Attachment With Flexible Display’.

The invention –  depicted top of post – outlines a way smarter Smart Cover case that incorporates a built-in keyboard, a multitouch-enabled flexible display, solar panels for easy recharging under sunlight, inductive charging, smart pen input and an additional battery.

Apple’s event kicks off at 10am PST tomorrow and Cody has a nice roundup of what to expect. iDB will be covering the announcements and publishing tidbits throughout the day so make sure to tune in tomorrow.

Would you buy such a case?

  • Jonathan

    That. Would. Be. Awesome.

    • shar

      that would be interesting. that would mean apple is loosing the concept of originality.

      • macboy74

        How are they doing that? They had the idea way before MS did. Apple had patents for a Smart Cover keyboard. But they ended up going with just the cover part.

      • shar

        apple identifies itself by being different. eg when everyone else goes big screen, apple says let do tall screen. when others run quad core, apple is like, let do x64bit cpu, when others add nfc, apple goes with touchid, when others improve camera mpx, apple goes with higher aperture size, etc…
        I am not gonna discuss who did what first, apple looses originality when it features something that was successful with someone else.
        I do expect from other brands to start adding things that became a new hit with apple (eg finger print scanner in latest htc one max), but apple has always been in the habit of avoiding it.
        apple will loos value when it offers nothing different.

      • Miser Phillips

        Do you have any evidence to support such a claim?.

        Surface has had touch and type covers for over a year now, anyway you look at it Apple is behind, iOS7 took a lot from Windows Phone from its flat and tile like UI. Apple is not the company it once was more and more people are seeing that now.

  • Kamal Ahmad

    I like iPads, but it would be nice if they had more computer capabilities, like file managing, downloading videos from browser and facebook, video compression, universal bluetooth.

    • Even Steve Jobs recognized that failure and said that they were working on that…but until now…zero.

    • Liam Mulcahy

      I agree. But you could just jailbreak.

      • Kamal Ahmad

        If iOS 6.1.3 jailbreak is coming sometime before 2014, possibly december, iOS 7 jailbreak is going to come after 2014.
        And newer hardware is harder to jailbreak(A7x)

      • ReanimationXP

        A7x will be no harder to jailbreak than the A7 if they can do it.

      • Kamal Ahmad

        @ReanimationXP:disqus I know, but still, both are going to be hard.

    • Jonathan

      Eh, iOS 7.1?

    • bigtalk

      true but i dont see it happening

  • DrNoOne

    Guys, the tagline for the event was “We still have a lot to *subtle hint*>>>>COVER<<<<*ahem, if you know what I mean*"

    No one caught that?

    • Aniket Bhatt

      I was just about to comment this same thing

    • Guest

      Help , wtf are you saying , I didn’t understand you

    • Σαλαη αββας

      If that’s it , then that’s sad , apple focuses on that cover ?! …. Don’t think so

      • bigtalk

        yeah they better show controllers..

    • Qiren_94

      Sharp Observation!

  • Freddy Born

    And I hope we will finally get the game controller hardware… Maybe a wrap around?

  • chumawumba

    Better be under $99

    • bigtalk

      better be under 40

      • ReanimationXP

        lol for real, someone’s fallen for the Apple pricing schema.

  • batongxue

    Take my money!
    I will just overdraw my credit card!

    • Jonathan

      Thanks! 😀
      *runs*

  • n0ahcruz3

    Just buy a surface pro, better functionality with full blown office. Now apple is trying to copy ms

    • macboy74

      They had the idea way before MS did. Apple had patents for a Smart Cover keyboard. But they ended up going with just the cover part.

      • n0ahcruz3

        Lol it was bad joke. Sorry

      • Miser Phillips

        Show us the evidence.

    • bigtalk

      ahha you mean a big over priced ZUUUUN… nope!

  • gittlopctbi

    This story leak is obviously bogus–we all know (thanks to numerous posts) that Apple does not steal ideas!

  • bigtalk

    fine as long as they show some very nice controllers working with IOS games..

  • @sexyhamthing

    *innovation*

  • Palmer Paul

    They should implement some sort of NFC communication between the iPad and Smart Cover’s magnetic “hinges”, instead of using Bluetooth (which will drain the iPad’s battery faster).

  • xSeriouSx

    And when Samsung releases their, expect the fantard crowd to forget their herd master did the same.

  • Haha, interesting stuff…Microsoft materialized this idea 2 years later for the Surface Pro (https://goo. gl/BBjFJs)…wonder if they’re gonna get sued by the rotten side of Crapple for it…or their Apple partnership permits such.