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Apple offers free iPad Pro Smart Keyboard repairs in wake of 'functional issues'

In light of several technical problems the accessory is having, Apple is reportedly offering a free, three-year repair program for the iPad Pro's Smart Keyboard.

The Keyboard can encounter "functional issues" such as a faulty Smart Connector, or keys repeating, sticking, and failing to respond, MacRumors said on Monday, citing a memo circulated to Apple stores and authorized repair outfits. The program was confirmed in checks by AppleInsider.

Both 9.7- and 12.9-inch versions of the Keyboard are covered under the initiative.

To qualify, owners must ask for repairs within three years of their purchase date and go through official channels, whether a Genius Bar, an authorized service provider, or Apple's phone and online support. The policy is allegedly so new that some support workers may be unfamiliar, in which case it may be necessary to ask for higher-level staff.

Apple has often marketed the Smart Keyboard as an integral part of buying an iPad Pro, helping to put iPads on par with laptops. It includes iOS shortcuts, and doesn't require special pairing or charging.

The company could be preparing new versions of the Keyboard to coincide with an anticipated Pro refresh. On top of revising the 12.9-inch model, it's also expected to ship a new 10.5-inch tablet, possibly with shrunken bezels among other features.