Apple iPad Pro Smart Connector accessories have failed to take off owing to high component costs and long timelines.
With the launch of the iPad Pro, Apple unveiled the Smart Connector that lets you pair the Smart Keyboard with the tablet rather seamlessly. However, despite the push from Apple, not many accessory makers are keen on the new technology and there have hardly been any Smart Connector accessories out there in the market.
Apple has said that it’s working closely with many manufacturers to release new accessories for the device. Though none of the manufacturers have been mentioned, nor has Apple hinted at when the new accessories will be out in the market, the announcement is expected to come soon.
As per a report by Fast Company, the Smart Connector components have high wait times and are also expensive. This immediately increases the price of the final accessory as well as causes delays in announcing it. As the accessory space is a fast moving space with users preferring more affordable gadgets, most of the manufacturers do not see a point in investing in the new technology. Currently, the Smart Connector accessories boast of only two offerings – both by Logitech. One is a Keyboard and the other a Docking Station. No other company has experimented with any of the accessories so far.
Though the partnership with Logitech has given Apple users an option other than Apple’s native keyboard, it has increased competition for other manufacturers as they now battle with Apple as well as Logitech. Also many manufacturers are unhappy with the pogo pin design that Apple has used for the Smart Connector accessories, making it more inconvenient. The design seems to be limiting and is not exciting enough as it is too restricting for accessory manufacturers to experiment with it. There are many who prefer the standard Bluetooth accessories over the Smart Connector variants as Bluetooth is easier and can also be used if the accessory is not directly attached to the device.
“With an iPad Pro keyboard on the market already, we are evaluating the market’s appetite for another iPad Pro keyboard and identifying if there are any gaps that we can fill,” said Kelly McElroy, a spokeswoman for Incipio. “So we are developing with having a point of difference in mind rather than developing to be quick to market.” “For a business like us, we’ve got a very rapid product development cycle,” another source said. “When you’ve got a long lead time component that’s close to six months, that’s just not tenable.” ALSO READ: Apple iPhone 8 launch to be delayed till November: Reports
Talking about the Bluetooth, manufacturers like Brydge are not ruling out Smart Connector provided Apple brings some changes to the platform and ramps up its manufacturing speed and process. “I’m trying to go for the people who really like the distraction-free environment of portrait typing,” Sajid, the creator of the Touchtype iPad keyboard case says. “To use [the Smart Connector], you have to go back to that traditional laptop form factor, which is taking away a whole selling point of the iPad.”
Apple continues to be upbeat about the technology, touting its multiple benefits like no need for a battery but it remains to be seen if manufacturers can be convinced to ready the accessories in the coming times.