Enter the third-party manufacturers, who seem intent on creating a keyboard case for the iPad regardless of what Apple prefers. While full-size cases for the 4th-generation iPad are readily available, the first iPad mini cases started appearing today. Belking kicked the party off, offering an aluminum keyboard case which connects via Bluetooth to any iPad mini model for $80.00.
Next is a product from iPadMiniMod.com. Their product is similar in that it connects via Bluetooth, and seems to be of similar build quality. It also uses the Smart Cover magnets to wake the device up from sleep when it is flipped open. The difference between the two is the price: this one is available for $40.00. That’s quite a price difference, though it may be worth it to pay the Belkin premium, given their longer, more notable brand and image.
It’s unclear how usable these keyboards will be: they have to be smaller, given the smaller size of the iPad mini itself. Since the keyboard is flush with the screen, it will be smaller than what is currently offered for the larger iPad.