What’s the Deal With the Dearth of Third-Party iPad Pro Smart Connector Peripherals?

Andrew O’Hara, in a piece at AppleInsider under the rather scathing headline “Apple Has Destroyed the Potential of the Smart Connector on the New iPad Pro”:

Second is the poor adoption we’ve seen from outside companies, which the shift will not help. Apple touted at launch that third-parties could make use of the port, and they even reiterated strong support with products in the pipeline just last year. Now that the port has completely moved, anything in the works based on the previous port location is dead-on-arrival.

Since the original incarnation, only Logitech has put accessories on the market. They’ve launched multiple versions of their popular Slim Combo Keyboard (review) as well as a simple charging dock, the Base, which we also examined.

The new Smart Connector placement does seem more limiting, but I think the Smart Connector was a disappointment on the previous iPad Pros in terms of third-party peripherals. Two products from Logitech — a keyboard and a dock — and that’s it. And of course with the new placement, neither will work with the new iPad Pros.

It seems a bit weird for Apple to add a port that is primarily used only for one product — Apple’s own Smart Keyboard Folio — but that’s the way the previous Smart Connector turned out. I’d like to see more third-party keyboard options that use the Smart Connector, but that didn’t pan out last time.

Tuesday, 27 November 2018