Apple: Yes, the older Magic Keyboard does work with the 2021 iPad Pro (but it might not fit so well when you close it)
Apple has updated a support page for its iPad Pro Magic Keyboard to clarify that last year’s attachable keyboard model does fit the just announced 12.9-inch iPad Pro.
But it admits that the slightly thicker dimensions of the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro, announced at last week’s Spring Loaded event, mean that last year’s Magic Keyboard won’t perfectly fit the new iPad Pro. The keyboard is “functionally compatible” with the new iPad Pro, it said, but it might it be a clumsy companion.
“The first generation of the Magic Keyboard (A1998) is functionally compatible with the new iPad Pro 12.9-inch (5th generation) with Liquid Retina XDR display,” Apple notes.
“Due to the slightly thicker dimensions of this new iPad Pro, it’s possible that the Magic Keyboard may not precisely fit when closed, especially when screen protectors are applied.”
It’s likely there are only a few people who bought last year’s 12.9-inch iPad Pro and spent $350 on the Magic Keyboard and are also already be in the market for the 2021 12.9-inch iPad Pro. But it could be annoying for anyone who wanted the new iPad Pro and bought the 2020 Magic Keyboard, which was discounted on Amazon after Apple announced the new iPad Pro. Stocks on Amazon are now depleted.
Apple posted the update after a report from The Verge last week stated that the new iPad Pro might not fit the original Magic Keyboard.
The main obstacle to a perfect fit between generations of Magic Keyboard and iPad Pro is that the new iPad Pro model is 0.5mm thicker than the 2020 model, which is 5.9mm thick. This mis-match is compounded when screen protectors are used.
This Magic Keyboard compatibility issue does not affect the 11-inch iPad Pro.