Apple is brilliant in more than just one or two ways. For example, when they changed the design of the iPad 2’s sides, they ensured that no iPad 1 form fitting cover would work with the iPad 2. This ensured hundreds of thousands of sales of their new Smart Cover. Eventually, the number will reach into the millions. At $39 each, the Smart Cover will account for $39 million in sales when the millionth unit is purchased.
The Smart Cover itself is desirable for more than the fact that it is the only screen protection available for the iPad 2 at the moment. Its design retains the iPad 2’s visual thinness and bulk. Its magnetic attachment system provides easy installation and removal. And, the magnetic switch that turns the iPad 2 off when covered and on when uncovered is brilliant in its simplicity and functionality.
Ah, but as many a TV sales guy has said, there’s more. Take a look at the first photo to the left. Do you see those two edges? Do you know what they are? The thicker and grayer in color edge on the bottom is an iPad 2 viewed side on. The upper edge is the business side of a Zwillings Chef’s Knife. You know what the knife can do. But, what about the iPad 2?
When not in a case, I often grabbed the iPad 1 like a notebook (paper variety) and carried it with either of its long edges in the palm of my hand. It was easy to grip and comfortable to hold. The iPad 2, on the other hand, is literally a pain to hold. Its sharp knife-like edge starts to place pressure on my palm within seconds of gripping and holding it. I’ve started to use the Smart Cover in its fully folded configuration as a way to carry the iPad 2 to avoid pain in my hand. You can see this technique in the second photo.
Until third party iPad 2 covers arrive, Apple’s $39 Smart Cover will be a necessary accessory for more than just protecting the display.