Is this the new Apple keyboard?

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You might recall that a few weeks ago, rumors of a redesigned, MacBook-style Apple keyboard emerged, with tipsters claiming that the slimmer keyboards would ship with the next iteration of the iMac. Well, if a poster on the Hong Kong-based Rhapsody Mac forum is to be believed, this here is it (click photo to enlarge). While I can't vouch for the veracity (or lack thereof) of the photos, Engadget went as far as to say that "we believe that this is the real deal," after recieving an insider tip. Other photos of the device prominently display stickers with the designation "Apple development team" and the poster claims to have more than one of these units in his or her possession, which s/he is selling for the equivalent of $153.40 USD.

So, if this is indeed the new Apple keyboard, what does this tell photo us? First, the brushed-metal look suggests that rumors of brushed-metal iMacs are true. Could that mean other low-end Macs also are due for a makeover? And might this also mean that Apple's high-end products are finally getting their long overdue new look? Let's hope so. Also, check out the keys: you'll notice the Apple logo has disappeared from the Command key (No more "open apple" key!) and that the F3 and F4 keys now sport icons that seem to correspond to Exposé and Dashboard, respectively. That would mean that those two functions are moving from the F11 and F12 keys in Leopard, making room for the media control keys that you see in the photo. This would be a pretty elaborate and convincing hoax if it turned out to be a fake, so don't be surprised if the standard Apple keyboard is due for some big changes. According to rumormongers, August 7th is the date to watch for new iMacs.

For more on the alleged new keyboard:
- check out all the photos at Engadget

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