If it does, it might as well be game-over for Vita and 3DS.
In their exhaustive review of the new iPad, Anand Lal Shimpy of Anandtech mentioned that Apple has an internal project for a physical gaming controller for their iOS devices:
“I know of an internal Apple project to bring a physical controller to market, but whether or not it will ever see the light of day remains to be seen.”
Interestingly, just last month when I was in San Fransisco for NVIDIA’s GTX680 Editor’s Day, I was having a chat with Ryan Smith from Anadtech about gaming and how mobile gaming is becoming so popular. I asked him how he felt about gaming on an iOS device and he mentioned that because of the lack of actual controls it will never be as much fun. The conversation drifted to some 3rd party products that allow that but we agreed that it will only really only work if Apple came up with an official controller.
It would certainly be interesting if Apple does indeed release an accessory that could attach to your iOS device on one side and allow you an analog joytsick as well as a couple of buttons. I could see how this could work if you have a thumb nub on the front side and two buttons on the back side that your index and middle fingers could rest on.