Not Just About Cases Anymore: The Smart Cover
Leave it to Apple to try to reinvent the wheel! Along with the announcements of the iPad 2 and its corresponding iOS update, Steve Jobs and Co. have come out with the Smart Cover. It really appears as if Apple is going after one particular issue with its latest invention, and that's bulk.
The Smart Cover features a magnetic hinge on the side which self aligns with the iPad's edge, and protects the screen. When the cover is removed from the iPad's face, the device will automatically wake up and when it is replaced the device will go to sleep. It will also fold into a stand for typing or viewing, making it useful for more than just protecting the iPad's screen.
Apple is making the case available in five different colors in both polyurethane and leather, for $39 and $69 respectively. The question is now whether or not the iPad-buying public will bite.
I must say I'm intrigued by the idea. My biggest beef with cases is that they often add unnecessary bulk to the device they're intended to protect. So I often go without them. If companies can think of innovative ways to solve this issue, I'm all ears. Of course I'm sure there's going to be the critics out there who will brush aside Apple's idea as attempting to reinvent the wheel.
I do wonder however, where did Apple get the inspiration for the design? TUAW thinks they do, and points to Japanese Apple fans thinking the concept came from Japanese bathtub lids. I guess there is some resemblance!