It seems there is trouble in paradise for owners of the new iPad who wanted to use it with the Smart Cover that they bought for their iPad 2. The problem is that with some users the Smart Cover does not work well with the new iPad, i.e., the display does not switch on and off as it should. This is not only a problem with Apple’s Smart Cover but also with some of the third party ones.
So what could be the reason for this? The answer lies in the polarity of the magnets, as Mark Booth has explained fantastically on his blog.
It’s like this. The iPad 2 uses magnetic sensors around the right side of the display that get triggered with the magnets inside the Smart Cover. Now these sensors aren’t polarity specific, which means they could be triggered by the North or the South side of a magnet. Because of this, the original smart covers for the iPad 2 did not contain magnets aligned in a specific manner because it did not matter.
But by not being polarity specific led to a problem. When the Smart Cover was folded behind the iPad 2, the sensor would sometimes get triggered and the display would shut down. So to take care of this situation, Apple used polarity specific magnets in the new iPad, so they would only get triggered by one side of the magnet within the Smart Cover and so when the other side was near the iPad when the cover was flipped around, the sensors in the iPad would not get triggered.
But by fixing one problem, Apple ran into another. As mentioned earlier, Smart Cover manufacturers, including Apple, did not align the magnets in their older covers in a particular way because it simply did not matter with the iPad 2. But with the new iPad, it has to be in one particular way to trigger the sensor, or else it won’t work. The magnets in these covers were apparently installed at random, so only those which have the right side facing the iPad now work with the new iPad whereas the other ones don’t.
Now it seems Apple realized this problem some time last year and started shipping their new Smart Covers with properly aligned magnets in anticipation of the new iPad. These Smart Covers also have a different model number and work perfectly with both the new iPad as well as the iPad 2. Apple is even reportedly replacing your Smart Cover for free with a new one that works with the new iPad. However, if you are one of the unlucky ones who got a third party smart cover, then you have no choice but to get a new one. Unless, of course, you are ready to strip out the magnet and reverse it, in which case it will work perfectly.
You can check out a detailed video of this problem in action in the source link below.