Ever since Microsoft unveiled the Surface and its slick Touch Cover there have been Apple fans clamoring for Apple to release something similar for the iPad. Now, it sounds like they just might get their wish.According to Jamie Ryan’s contacts in Cupertino, Apple has been working on a prototype cover for the iPad. It’s being looked at as a way to further differentiate the two models. The iPad mini has taken over as the go-to option for consumers that want a device for content consumption, while the iPad has donned a business suit and become more of a GTD machine.Theoretically, Apple does already make a keyboard for the iPad — the Apple Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard. It’s not an elegant solution by any means. With iWork now shipping as a free app for new iPads, the time is right for a smartly-designed, first-party keyboard.Ryan underscores the fact that his sources say Apple has been playing with prototypes. There’s a chance that this Surface-style Touch Cover for the iPad may never make it to market. Then again, first-party accessories aren’t a new gambit for Apple.If Apple thinks they’ve come up with a keyboard cover that’s more compelling than what iOS accessory makers have to offer, they aren’t going to hold back. There’s good money to be made on accessory sales, and those profits are highly desirable when margins on the devices themselves are sliding slightly.We’re also creeping up on the 2013 holiday season. It’s a perfect time for Apple to launch some new in-house accessories, since buyers of new devices will be looking for add-ons — and existing iPad owners might get caught up in the excitement, too.We’ll find out what Apple has up its sleeve tomorrow.