Source says these covers may not be ready for the event tomorrow

Apple is reportedly testing a new case for the full-sized 9.7-inch iPad that would mimic the functionality seen in the Microsoft Surface Touch Cover. The tip originates from a former employee of Apple's Developer Relations team named Jamie Ryan.

Ryan wrote, "It's not clear whether the process is far enough along to make this Tuesday's event, but they did say a few different styles had been in testing for awhile.”

Ryan also indicates that the reason Apple is developing the new keyboard cover is because the existing Bluetooth keyboard isn't as integrated as the Microsoft Touch Cover. And a keyboard cover could also be seen as a greater differentiator for the 9.7” iPad compared to its smaller (and better selling) iPad mini sibling.

Invite for tomorrow's iPad event
Speculation is that the keyboard case will be released alongside the fifth-generation iPad expected to debut tomorrow. Apple’s invite for the event even alludes to the fact that “covers” will be highlighted, so we’re hoping that this report is correct and that Apple has more in store than just a fresh assortment of colors for its iPad accessory.

It should also be noted, however, that in a patent application discovered on August 2, 2012, Apple layed out ideas for a number of "smart" covers including ones with an integrated keyboard and solar panels.

Sources: Apple Insider, Mac Rumors

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