The Apple Smart Keyboard in the photograph above is my THIRD one. Happily they all broke while still being under warranty at respectively 8 and 10 months.
The first one started to give more and more “This accessory is not supported” errors, while the second one just gave up on me never to come back.
When the first one started to become unreliable I Googled the issue, but only found recommendations that went from “reboot” to “restore” your iPad which obviously didn’t work. Fiddling with the position of the keyboard would occasionally show the Hardware Keyboard option under the keyboard settings which proved that this was absolutely not related to IOS or any other software glitches.
When digging further into the matter, I found some other reports on failing keyboards, but often the tips to fix it didn’t work. A friend of mine who has issues with the keyboard of his first generation 12,9 inch iPad Pro tried to live with it for as long as the keyboard would more or less be detected by IOS.
How could such an expensive add-on, have such an almost invisible problematic existence? And what is it that actually fails? Is there a design fault? It seems the iPad Pro and its Smart Keyboard have some magnetic trigger system to allow the iPad to detect the correct position of the keyboard. There are magnets not only at the side of the smart connector, but also on the other side of an iPad Pro as well as in the area where the iPad Pro rests in the keyboard.
The following is just a hypothesis, but we all know that magnets can lose their magnetism. Is it possible then that when the iPad Pro is set it its typing position for longer periods of time, that the magnets lose too much of their magnetism for the iPad Pro’s keyboard detection mechanism? It’s just a hypothesis, but I’ll try not to keep my iPad Pro too long in its typing position and hopefully this Smart Keyboard will break the cycle. Otherwise I’ll need a new one in 12 months and since this model is no longer manufactured, I’ll be out of luck.
It does seem though that Apple is aware of the issue as this article in MacRumors clearly states. Sadly there is nothing to be found on Apple’s website?