iPad Pro 2020 looks like it'll bring a new feature to rival the Surface Pro 7

iPad Pro 2020
(Image credit: Future)

Well, here's a surprise: strong rumors are suggesting that the new iteration of the iPad Pro (currently dubbed the iPad Pro 2020) will have an all-new feature - a trackpad.

The information, which comes from The Information and cites two people 'familiar with the matter', says that Apple is set to unleash a new smart keyboard when the new iPad appears this year.

The trackpad-enabled keyboard would see the iPad move closer to a more traditional laptop - but rather than cannibalize the sales of the forthcoming MacBook 2020, such an effort would likely see the iPad take sales from Microsoft's Surface Pro range of tablets.

What's also interesting is that this would mean a big change to Apple's iPadOS, the forked version of iOS 13 that powers the iPhone range. While it's technically possible to call up a cursor on an iPad using accessibility features, it's not for mainstream use at all.

However, if Apple were to bring out a tablet with a trackpad, it would have to allow mouse support, meaning a big change in how users can interact with their iPad.

When will we see it?

The report also states that Apple is gearing up for launch of the new iPad Pro 2020 and the improved keyboard, having brought iPhone-making factory Foxconn on board to handle the creation.

Given the fact Foxconn has had to shutter some production lines in its factories due to the coronavirus outbreak, this would mean the new iPad Pro release date is likely set for later in the year - not in the next month or two, as has been previously rumored.

While the sources of this trackpad rumor are unconfirmed, it would make a huge amount of sense, and would help further differentiate the iPad Pro line from the cheaper iPad 10.2, which now features the same Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil support the iPad Pro range currently uses.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.