Teardown of Apple's iPad 2 Smart Cover uncovers 21 magnets

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
A total of 31 magnets are used to make the iPad 2 and its Apple-branded Smart Cover properly align, with 21 magnets found in the accessory and the remaining 10 in the iPad 2 itself.



For the first time ever, iFixit conducted a teardown of a case, a move that highlights the unique nature of Apple's Smart Cover for the iPad 2. When the iPad 2 was first introduced, Apple touted that its accessory cover was developed alongside the new touchscreen tablet.



The solutions provider utilized magnetic viewing film to demonstrate the magnetic poles of the material inside the Smart Cover. It found that one magnet is used to turn off the iPad 2 screen, while the rest are used to either clamp the case to the iPad 2 or form the triangle shape that allows the case to act as a stand.



The sleep control for the iPad 2 can even be triggered with a separate magnet without using the Smart Cover, automatically enabling or disabling the screen.



Inside the iPad 2, a row of magnets are located on the right side of the device, making the Smart Cover clamp to the surface of the device. The magnets are clearly labeled with their alternating polarity, which ensures the Smart Cover always sits in the same orientation.







Also included in the iPad 2 are a row of magnets along the left side of the device, which allows the Smart Cover to latch onto the side and pivot to open and allow access to the screen. iFixit found that the magnets inside the iPad and its accompanying Smart Case on the left side are "very strong," and witnessed them make a two-inch leap to connect.



Inside the Smart Cover, iFixit found:

A large metal place encased in plastic that adheres to the magnets to form the stand.

Two yellow all-plastic plates in the middle that exist purely for structural support.

A stack of magnets.





The teardown also revealed that Apple opted for a steel-to-magnet bond, which is weaker than a magnet-to-magnet bond, which is why there are a total of 21 magnets inside the case. iFixit said that Apple needed "lots more magnets to prevent the case from literally falling apart during use."







The Smart Case does not use any correlated magnets, which have a complex field of patterns rather than standard positive and negative polarity. The magnets used by Apple inside both the Smart Cover and iPad 2 are regular two-pole magnets.







Last week, iFixit conducted a more traditional teardown of the iPad 2 itself. The disassembly of Apple's latest touchscreen tablet revealed that the new device has a slightly bigger battery than its first-generation counterpart, as well as double the RAM with 512MB.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 75
    xsuxsu Posts: 401member
    If the magnet is that strong, we might start hearing people complaining their iPad scrambled their notebook hard drive, whether it's really possible or not.
  • Reply 2 of 75
    Then we have problems with people with pacemaker.
  • Reply 3 of 75
    ghostface147ghostface147 Posts: 1,629member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by xsu View Post


    If the magnet is that strong, we might start hearing people complaining their iPad scrambled their notebook hard drive, whether it's really possible or not.



    It's possible yes, but not as bad as it used to be in the early days.
  • Reply 4 of 75
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    For some reason I thought there would be more magnets on the hinge side rather than the screen-closure side. But it kinda makes sense to prevent the screen cover from always opening up.



    White iPad 2 and Red Leather cover for me please, thx.



    Or... I might skip this revision all together. Resistance, though, as we know, is usually... futile.
  • Reply 5 of 75
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member
    It was smart of Apple to build the smart cover functionality directly into the iPad itself. It's not going to be too easy for the copycats to implement this particular idea, as they would probably have to start from scratch all over again, causing them to redesign and rethink their entire tablet, leading to further huge delays, and by that time the iPad 3 will already be hitting the shelves.

  • Reply 6 of 75
    dagamer34dagamer34 Posts: 494member
    I think there should have been more magnets at the corners of the smart cover and iPad 2 to ensure a tighter closed connection.
  • Reply 7 of 75
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post




    White iPad 2 and Red Leather cover for me please, thx.



    I don't have anything against AIDS research or anything, but for some reason, the red cover puts me off. Every time I would look at it, I would automatically associate that with it.
  • Reply 8 of 75
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


    It was smart of Apple to build the smart cover functionality directly into the iPad itself. It's not going to be too easy for the copycats to implement this particular idea, as they would probably have to start from scratch all over again, causing them to redesign and rethink their entire tablet, leading to further huge delays, and by that time the iPad 3 will already be hitting the shelves.





    The best part about it is that its a such a unique idea, that anyone who tries to copy it is going to look too obvious, and really foolish.



    Though, the same could be said about the iPad itself. A year ago, and today.
  • Reply 9 of 75
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,380member
    Magnets in a screen cover! I couldn't help but smile thinking back to all those years when a single magnet anywhere near a monitor screen caused the screen's colors to mess up and the fix was pressing the built in degaussing button. After a loud buzzing noise, hopefully it was back to normal. How times change eh?
  • Reply 10 of 75
    Do magnets have any effect on battery life?
  • Reply 11 of 75
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    How times change eh?



    There was also a thing called floppy disks before and then later 3.5" disks, and you sure as hell didn't want to put those next to any magnets.

  • Reply 12 of 75
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pmz View Post


    The best part about it is that its a such a unique idea, that anyone who tries to copy it is going to look too obvious, and really foolish.



    Though, the same could be said about the iPad itself. A year ago, and today.



    That's never stopped anybody before. They never had any shame or self respect before, so I wouldn't be surprised if somebody came out with the exact same idea.



    I saw this new Asus computer on engadget recently, and it looked almost exactly like an iMac, only cheaper looking and uglier.
  • Reply 13 of 75
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,380member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


    It was smart of Apple to build the smart cover functionality directly into the iPad itself. It's not going to be too easy for the copycats to implement this particular idea, as they would probably have to start from scratch all over again, causing them to redesign and rethink their entire tablet, leading to further huge delays, and by that time the iPad 3 will already be hitting the shelves.





    True but they already do that for every other feature in anything Apple makes so I assume the copycats' production lines are set up to have continual changes made ('Appled' Engineering Degrees required ) . I bet the same is true of the Android software department although that must be a hell of a lot easier! Of course the Samsung chosen method is to have owners ship them back for the latest 'Catch Apple Up' alterations. Life in the slow lane must be a pain!
  • Reply 14 of 75
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,380member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


    There was also a thing called floppy disks before and then later 3.5" disks, and you sure as hell didn't want to put those next to any magnets.





    True, OMG imagine laying your latest Apple ][ disk full of games (with the notch cut out so as to be able to write to the reverse side of course) down one of these screen covers!
  • Reply 15 of 75
    jpellinojpellino Posts: 652member
    Where the multi-pierced hipster Apple Retail staff are suddenly besieged - Wile E. Coyote style - by an open case of 21-magnet iPad2 covers.





    (Disclaimer - I adore Apple, but the retail staff can be amusing to watch.)
  • Reply 16 of 75
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    True, OMG imagine laying your latest Apple ][ disk full of games (with the notch cut out so as to be able to write to the reverse side of course) down one of these screen covers!



    That's true, I forgot all about cutting out that little notch in the disks.
  • Reply 17 of 75
    adonissmuadonissmu Posts: 1,774member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post


    For some reason I thought there would be more magnets on the hinge side rather than the screen-closure side. But it kinda makes sense to prevent the screen cover from always opening up.



    White iPad 2 and Red Leather cover for me please, thx.



    Or... I might skip this revision all together. Resistance, though, as we know, is usually... futile.



    Go to the store and at least try it out.
  • Reply 18 of 75
    amazing ..you can judge the book by the COVER..
  • Reply 19 of 75
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,265member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    True, OMG imagine laying your latest Apple ][ disk full of games (with the notch cut out so as to be able to write to the reverse side of course) down one of these screen covers!



    Oh, the memories!



    Note to self, don't put wallet full of credit cards near an iPad or it's cover!
  • Reply 20 of 75
    stevetimstevetim Posts: 482member
    I'll buy the upgrade that has 23 magnets.
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