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.
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.
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.