The iPad Pro accessories, Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard, may be in short supply worldwide but that doesn’t stop iFixit from tearing them down. The Apple Pencil teardown demonstrated some clever internal component miniaturization and the Smart Keyboard has similar tricks. Most notably, the teardown shows Apple’s “conductive fabric material” that runs down the length of the accessory. Rather than trailing wire or a ribbon cable inside the keyboard, Apple is using special fabric that can send power and data in both directions. iFixit believes this has durability benefits too, claiming it should be less likely to break than normal wiring would over the course of the product’s lifetime.
In fact, in general, the Smart Keyboard is praised for its durability here. The entire product is encased in a rich fabric for water and stain resistance leaving no visible holes; iFixit literally had to cut their way inside the keyboard. Inside, there are a lot of protective layers to keep the components in place. The less good news is that iFixit scored the Smart Keyboard a 0/10 for repairability as any attempt to get to the internals involves damaging the device permanently.