Go Wireless or Go Home: Apple Discontinues Wired Keyboard with Numeric Keypad

apple numeric keypad

One of Apple’s quiet updates during WWDC earlier this month was the long-awaited introduction of a wireless keyboard with a numeric keypad. The Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad includes the same popular features as the existing Magic Keyboard 2 — scissor key switches, Lightning cable charging and connectivity, macOS and iOS media keys, long battery life, etc. — but also throws in the handy numeric keypad for those who need it.

apple keyboard numeric keypad

Previously, the only Apple-made keyboard to sport a numeric keypad was the older wired variety, first introduced in 2007. As a wired keyboard, it lacked the flexibility of its wireless counterpart, but it was cheap — dirt cheap in terms of Apple accessories — at just $49. It also obviously never needed to be charged, so it was ideal for Macs used in shared settings or in large businesses.

While Apple keyboard fans were happy to say hello to the new wireless Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad, it turns out that Apple had no problem saying goodbye to the wired model. The launch of the new full-sized wireless keyboard prompted Apple to quietly discontinue its wired counterpart. We just noticed the keyboard’s absence from Apple’s online store this week, but 9to5Mac reports that Apple wasted no time and actually pulled the wired keyboard immediately following the WWDC keynote.

Beyond the situations where a wired keyboard is ideal, the biggest negative for consumers regarding this change is that the price of the only Apple-made keyboard with a numeric keypad just went up 163 percent, from the old wired keyboard’s $49 price to the $129 price of the wireless model.

macally wired keyboard

The good news is that, of course, Apple is not the only place to buy a keyboard. Virtually all modern USB and Bluetooth keyboards will work on the Mac, and there are many companies selling keyboards with Mac-specific function and media keys. A quick search online will yield many alternatives for those seeking an affordable Mac keyboard with numeric keypad, such as this one from Macally for $25. Third party retailers, such as Best Buy and Amazon, are also still selling off existing inventory of Apple’s own wired full-sized keyboard, so fans of this design should move quickly to pick one up before supplies are depleted.

4 thoughts on “Go Wireless or Go Home: Apple Discontinues Wired Keyboard with Numeric Keypad

  • This is grievous in places where security concerns prevent the use of wireless keyboards (mice are fine… I don’t care if someone intercepts your wrist-jiggling all day long).

    I see in other forums people are saying that the Apple wireless keyboard can be used as ‘wired’ when the charging cable is connected — and that’s great for those people worried about wireless range, and power issues. But security is a different animal, so for us, a third-party keyboard will have to be inserted into our supply chain. And with the onboard USB hub that we’ve all grown to be dependent on.

    Congrats, Apple, you just found another way to hand business over to third parties (good for our industry), but decreased the footprint of ‘Apple everywhere’ in a very large high-tech company (and I’m sure we only one of thousands).

    And annoyed the piss out of a lot of technicians and bean counters. Because your wireless keyboards are going to the recycling bin when we buy a desktop, and paying for stuff we just had to throw out is the kind of thing that sticks with a guy.

    1. EDIT: My compatriots informed me that we won’t be feeling the recycling burn because our BTO orders only arrive with a keyboard if that’s what we select. Still annoyed and crotchety. Get off my lawn.

  • Sad to see this since I always enjoyed using that keyboard and it was very affordable. I still have two of them at home here. In the past year I switched to the Das Keyboard Pro for Mac and love it a lot more. It cost a lot more though. Even when I would buy the Apple numeric keyboard it felt a bit like I was getting it for a steal due to the price. I’m glad we still have a choice and can use any keyboard we like.

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