Next-gen Magic Keyboard reportedly in the works with e-ink display on every single key

By , Oct 12, 2016

Magic Keyboard YouTube Review

According to a post by an anonymous user named “Foxconninsider” that surfaced Wednesday morning on Reddit, Apple is allegedly working with a startup called Sonder on a next-generation Magic Keyboard that’s supposedly outfitted with an individual e-ink display on every single key.

Having e-ink-enhanced keys would let the graphics on each individual key change depending on the app currently in use. To me, that sounds a lot like an OLED strip that the rumor-mill believes will be debuting on the next MacBook Pro.

The poster, who claims to work at Tsinghua University (it’s “like the Chinese MIT”), added that Apple is currently in the process of acquiring Sonder.

BGR has more:

“Foxconninsider” says that Foxconn hosted a closed-doors event at the University recently, during which representatives from the manufacturing giant allegedly showed off prototypes of two unreleased Apple products.

Foxconn, of course, is Apple’s key manufacturing partner that assembles many of its devices at its various facilities scattered in China, Taiwan and elsewhere.

The below video of Sonder’s current e-ink keyboard gives you an idea of what might be expected from the next Magic Keyboard.

“Foxconninsider” claimed in another post that the rumored Apple keyboard refresh could use a color e-ink display on each key instead of a grayscale one.

He added that Foxconn also had on display a “new Macbook keyboard module” that should appear on the next MacBook Pro (he’s likely referring to the rumored OLED touch bar replacing the row of function keys).

For what it’s worth, Reddit moderators who saw evidence “Foxconninsider” provided have vouched for him and confirmed his identity.

Magic Keyboard image 005

The new keyboard is reportedly coming sometime in 2018.

The current Magic Keyboard costs $99 a pop and was last refreshed alongside other Magic accessories in October 2015 with a built-in lithium-ion battery, Bluetooth 4.0 with pairing via Lightning, a Lightning port for recharging, San Francisco typeface on the keys, sleek new design and more.

Source: Reddit via BGR

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  • Diego Milano

    I wish this stuff worked on non-Mac devices such as Windows or Linux.

    • Scotow

      Getting the special functionality is cool but I think it’s not worth having cmd key vs windows key etc …

      • Diego Milano

        I don’t know, I couldn’t tell since I never tried these keyboards; I’m using Logitech K810 and happy with it but I’ve never seen a keyboard as good as the diNovo Edge series they used to have a while ago. The new keyboards don’t last long…

  • Keep the same 99.99 pricetag and I’ll pick one of these up for my older imac, assuming they also allow it to be used connected via lightning/usb and not bluetooth.

  • Would this even be backlight compatible? These days that’s really the only feature I look for in a keyboard.

  • rockdude094

    Imagine if the keyboard layout changes depending on if youre using windows or mac …

  • therealjjohnson

    I guess thats cool. I dont really need it though…

  • :D

    Ooh would be good for multiple key shortcuts, e.g. Hold command and then Z displays an undo symbol.

    Not sure Id like the beige colour though

  • Stefano


  • Leslie Bee

    This has many potential uses, including international keyboards and maybe even showing the font you’re using at the moment. For anyone who uses special fonts a lot, like mathematical symbols, this could be very handy.