Apple might be about to buy a magic keyboard company

Sonder's smart keyboard can be used in any language, with customisable shortcuts and custom icons

Rumoured deal

Apple may be about to transform the keyboard on its iPhones or launch new hardware to accompany its iPad Pro line using technology created by Australian startup Sonder.

Rumours are churning that the iPhone-maker is about to buy Sonder, which has created a magic keyboard that works with any language, any shortcut or custom icon used anywhere in the world.

Sonder's technology uses e-ink, as seen on Amazon's Kindle, meaning it's viewable in all types of light. It's also super-tactile, improving the typing experience for all that use it.

Rumours of the acquisition first appeared earlier this week, when a Reddit user claimed they had used an Apple prototype keyboard using Sonder technology at Tsinghua University in Beijing. She said it was demonstrated at the Incubator Innoconn event.

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"It's really a solid indication of the future of input technology," she wrote. "Apple has a reputation of making big leaps which are seen to be unpopular but then become the new standard. Dynamic keyboards are the standard for phones, they will be for laptops and desktops too."

Although neither company confirmed the rumours were true, Sonder's chief executive, Francisco Serra-Martins, was at the event and Apple CEO, Tim Cook, met with Serra-Martins in China on Wednesday.

Sonder responded to the Reddit user's post saying Sonder was about to sign deals with three companies who will integrate the keyboard technology into their devices. It also explained it would launch its own keyboard later this year, which will retail for $199 (163).

Sonder is currently raising money via a funding round to help it partner up with more tech companies, although this may not be needed if Apple decides to buy it.

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