Apple retail promoting laptop-style iPad keyboards, iOS game controllers in hardware push

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2015
With the hardware ecosystem surrounding Apple's mobile devices continuing to grow, the company has chosen to place the spotlight some of the laptop-style iPad keyboards and iOS gaming controllers it offers at its retail locations.


Apple Store in San Francisco, via Harry McCracken.


A set of tables devoted to third-party iPad keyboards and gaming controllers was spotted by Harry McCracken, who posted the above picture of the San Francisco store display on his official Twitter account. The tech journalist noted that Apple has "gotten as serious as it can about this iPad keyboard thing," without actually making its own official hardware.

Apple initially did offer a keyboard and dock dedicated solely for the first-generation iPad. Since then, the company has continued to offer its Bluetooth keyboard, but that accessory is also compatible with Macs, PCs and other devices.

What's unique about the setup at the Apple Store in San Francisco is that all of the keyboards shown are laptop-style configurations, allowing the iPad to be used much like a traditional notebook PC or MacBook. Apple has never offered an accessory of this type on its own, but a huge market for such devices has sprung up around the touchscreen tablet.

There has been speculation that Apple could offer its own "convertible" style iPad with a new 12-inch model rumored to debut this year. But to date, most of the rumors have focused on the iPad itself, and not any possible accessories.

Also showcased at the San Francisco Apple Store is a row of iOS-compatible gaming controllers. Those accessories were made possible in 2013 by the release of iOS 7, but initial controllers were generally found to be too costly and featured subpar hardware.

But more recent efforts at Made for iPhone and iPad controllers have seen lower prices and better construction. Some of those offered at Apple's stores include the Moga Rebel and the SteelSeries Stratus XL.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    Jobs just turned in his grave!
  • Reply 2 of 18

    I wish the controllers didn't cost an arm and a leg.

  • Reply 3 of 18
    If they really want to support 3rd party keyboards Apple should start supporting auto-correct, auto capitalization and predictive typing with them.
  • Reply 4 of 18
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Jobs just turned in his grave!

    I'm sure Microsoft is flattered. :)
  • Reply 5 of 18
    plovellplovell Posts: 818member

    I have and like the Apple wireless (Bluetooth) keyboard for use with iPad.

     

    What I want is the ability to pair a Magic Trackpad or Magic Mouse as well. Then we'd have something that works like a laptop when needed and is still an iPad.

     

    Reaching up to the screen to select things is just bad -- Steve knew this and said so more than once. A Mouse or Trackpad is a better way to go if you're using a BT keyboard.

  • Reply 6 of 18
    ..... Harry McCracken..... Couldn't get that one by me!
  • Reply 7 of 18
    irelandireland Posts: 17,751member
    Seems an odd move to me.
  • Reply 8 of 18
    Jobs just turned in his grave!

    Agree. iPad isnt meant to be used with a keyboard.
  • Reply 9 of 18
    ireland wrote: »
    Seems an odd move to me.

    It may seem odd by us sideline kibitzers but Apple has some real data to tell them what to do. And if that data says better do this, then they will do this. There are some drop dead beautiful keyboards and iPad back covers that together turn the iPad into a beautiful-looking aluminum laptop. The whole works still cost less then a MBA.
  • Reply 10 of 18
    I am using a Logitech keyboard right now with my iPad. It's the Easy-Switch K811, kind of a Macbook KB clone %u2014 has auto backlighting and is the same size as Apple's wireless KB. Use it in conjunction with my Otterbox Defendercase, it's cover doubles as a stand to hold the iPad in either Landscape or Portrait. Yeah, it is awkward having to reach the screen to select stuff, but not as awkward as trying to edit text with my fingertips. Still find it weird that any Apple Store would be pushing those ugly, compact size keyboard covers.
  • Reply 11 of 18

    I sometimes wonder what an Apple designed iPad keyboard might be like. Obviously Apple has noticed the popularity of iPad keyboards, so the the time may be right for Apple to do an iPad keyboard...

     

    ...or perhaps this keyboard showcase is priming the customer base for a new iOS based "laptop?" Maybe this is what the ~12" screen rumours are about?

  • Reply 12 of 18
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    I sometimes wonder what an Apple designed iPad keyboard might be like. <span style="line-height:1.4em;">Obviously Apple has noticed the popularity of iPad keyboards, so the the time may be right for Apple to do an iPad keyboard...</span>


    ...or perhaps this keyboard showcase is priming the customer base for a new iOS based "laptop?" Maybe this is what the ~12" screen rumours are about?

    So basically copying Microsoft Surface and other Windows convertibles?
  • Reply 13 of 18
    waltgwaltg Posts: 90member
    And.... Could this just be a market test for Apple to see really how much interest and reaction there is out there. What better way to gather real feedback and reaction than to do it in there own stores so they can view this first hand..
  • Reply 14 of 18
    irelandireland Posts: 17,751member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post





    It may seem odd by us sideline kibitzers but Apple has some real data to tell them what to do. And if that data says better do this, then they will do this. There are some drop dead beautiful keyboards and iPad back covers that together turn the iPad into a beautiful-looking aluminum laptop. The whole works still cost less then a MBA.



    Not buying that argument. To the average person who wants an iPad they don't want this. I'd say one thing if they displayed one or half the iPads along with keyboards, but all of them? Doesn't look attractive; you don't need data to tell you that. And the whole controller thing is clearly a precursor to Apple bringing out a better Apple TV that supports gaming.

  • Reply 15 of 18
    This is not Apple's finest hour. That table looks like a garage sale.
  • Reply 16 of 18

    Unfortunately -- these iPad keyboard solutions are not nearly as elegant as what Microsoft has done with the Surface Keyboard/Cover that:

     


    • Connects magnetically directly to the tablet  

    • Doesn't require separate batteries

    • Has a touchpad (which I agree with the earlier comment can be very useful for certain tasks)

    • Is not nearly as bulky

     

    I really wish Apple would come up with something similar for the iPad. 

  • Reply 17 of 18
    I sometimes wonder what an Apple designed iPad keyboard might be like. <span style="line-height:1.4em;">Obviously Apple has noticed the popularity of iPad keyboards, so the the time may be right for Apple to do an iPad keyboard...</span>


    ...or perhaps this keyboard showcase is priming the customer base for a new iOS based "laptop?" Maybe this is what the ~12" screen rumours are about?

    Good thinking.
  • Reply 18 of 18
    plovell wrote: »
    I have and like the Apple wireless (Bluetooth) keyboard for use with iPad.

    What I want is the ability to pair a Magic Trackpad or Magic Mouse as well. Then we'd have something that works like a laptop when needed and is still an iPad.

    Reaching up to the screen to select things is just bad -- Steve knew this and said so more than once. A Mouse or Trackpad is a better way to go if you're using a BT keyboard.


    Fully agree. And I think we'll get there.

    It seems that Apple under Cook is becoming more customer focused.

    They noticed that people wanted larger phones, and reacted, instead of stoically sticking to the original size and losing relevance.

    Now they notice that people want to use their tablets not only as tablets, but also as laptop replacements or at least as thin clients, requiring BT keyboard AND mouse support.

    In order to grow ipad, they have to grow its versatility and usage cases. Sometimes this requires killing old dogma.
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