Smart Keyboard reliability?

I have one of the newest iPad Air models, and I’m considering keyboard options. On my older 9.7" iPad Pro, I had the Apple Smart Keyboard. I liked its convenience, but I had two of the darn things fail. The first was under warranty, so no worries. But after a while the second one died as well—nothing I typed would end up in the iPad, and then it even stopped recognizing the keyboard was attached.

I’d prefer not to go down that road again, so I’m wondering what the experiences of people with newer ones has been. Thanks!

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I have one for the 2018 iPad Pro. The main issues I’m seeing is that it seems to react to skin oil and has become wrinkled and bubbly in spots where I might hold it or rest it on my legs. Also, the key ink wears off. As a keyboard it’s been pretty good though I did have my previous 2017 purchased version replaced once when it got a bit wonky in terms of the connection.

So, 9 months in and so far the connection and typing experience for this one has remained solid in my case. Will see if that remains true. I suspect I’ll seek to have it replaced at some point due to the wrinkling/bubbling as it is getting pretty bad.

Also, I got Apple Care for this iPad and I believe that it covers the SKFolio as well as the iPad.

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FWIW - my Smart Keyboard Folio for the 12.9" iPad Pro has held up pretty well…a few of the keys have faded, but other than that it’s fine.

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I’ve had two fail, one on my 9.7” Pro (stopped recognising it) and another on the 11” 2018 Pro (space bar stopped working).

I also had this thought. Have had about 5 replacements on my 2nd Gen 12.9”. I hear the new ones are better.

I’m on my second SK for the original 12.9" and this one has also stopped working. Not sure if it’s the keyboard itself or the Smart Connector on the iPad at this point, but I have a friend who also went through 2 SKs over the lifetime of his iPad Pro so I think they’re just generally less reliable/durable than they should be.

It’s a shame because I quite like the typing feel and convenience.

Thanks for the responses and insights. Given the price of the SK, I’d hate to deal with another situation where it ends up dying on me. I’ll have to look at some alternatives.

I was at an Apple store last night getting my Smart Keyboard replaced for the third time. Original 12.9 pro

I asked the genius how have the new smart keyboards held up and he said that he hasn’t had a single one come in with the same problem as the older ones.

Just passing this on…


[Touching wood] Been on my original 1st Gen 12.9” SK for almost two years now, zero problems. Long may that last…

I wonder how widespread the SK issues are - certainly seen many threads/posts about multiple replacements by people, over the years.

I’ve had 2 replacements on an iPad Pro 9.7”

I love the convenience, but Failure to recognise it’s connected and on the 2nd unit, the glue on the left side gave up opening the seal.

I’m not spending that much again until I’m sure that quaPity issues are resolved.

Yeah, the more I’ve thought about this since posting to this thread the more unacceptable it seems. A keyboard, especially one this pricey, should last at least 3 to 4 years. If Apple is going to sell these as the solution to the iPad I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect people to replace them every year or two. It should, in general, be engineered to be as durable as a laptop keyboard which is meant to last the lifetime of the computer.

Keyboard for the 3rd gen seems to be far more reliable. Two problems seem to be common to the origami type: 1) the magnetic activation to recognize you are typing position fails to initialize, 2) space bar stops working. I suppose the second is user based at some level. I never had this problem. But the 1st is clearly a severe flaw. I now have the 3rd gen keyboard and while it will still likely suffer from some similar issues (mine is that the fabric does begin to fray eventually with heavy use), it has worked flawlessly for me for months.

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On the latest 2018 Pro the space bar stopped working for me after 2 months. I barely used it, only when I didn’t have my MacBook, because I use another more protective case most of the time. So, it’s not user based it’s a hardware problem they’ve not fixed.

I use mine consistently for hours a day and no issues. Clearly the manufacturing consistency is off!