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The iPad2, Smart Covers and the mob

Date Added 03/03/2011

“Just when I thought I was out . . . they pull me back in”, much like the mob, Apple can be very persuasive. We are UK based and as such I had decided not to fill myself up with caffeine in an attempt to wait up for the keynote to be posted. I arrived at work this morning expecting to gloss over the release of the iPad 2 and then get on with my day.

At the office yesterday we all agreed that the advancements to the iPad would be reasonably predictable and on the whole they were. We said it would be faster, thinner and have a camera, and we were right.

However going back to my initial statement, this was one Apple release that I presumed I would not be tempted by, but you know what it’s like, you visit their website, you click the link to watch the introductory movie, you laugh along with the smug English guy (you know the one) and by the end of it your waving your credit card in the air raving on about how you must have one yesterday. Ok maybe not to that extent but you know what I mean.

I’m not going to rattle off the full new capabilities of the iPad 2, I’m sure you will be visiting Apple’s web site for the guided tour yourselves. I am of course looking forward to getting my hands on the real deal when released, and at that time we’ll give you a full review. What I do want to talk about now is that one Apple innovation that hooks you in with each new product launch and in this instance; surprisingly for me anyway, it was “Smart Covers”.

So what are Smart Covers? Well they are a very clever accessory for the new iPad 2, not only are they a very thin screen protector but also a keyboard and video stand. Pictured to the right of this article you will observe that the covers are split into 4 sections allowing you to fold it up into its various stand modes. The whole thing is also completely magnetic, so its hinges snap to the side of the iPad and when covering the screen is held in place using the same method. Not only that, when the cover is closed the iPad sleeps and is woken when you start to peel it open, very cool.

It’s what Apple do best, take a relatively simple concept like a screen cover and completely re-invent it in a way that none of us envisaged. Priced at a lowly 39 bucks on release its great news for consumers but what if you are a screen protector manufacturer? Sure there will be a host of cheaper alternatives but will they even stand a chance at competing, I very much doubt it. Once again Apple will monopolise a market that I doubt any of us expected them to be interested in.

By Jason Batt

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