Rumor: Apple working on new iPad case to cover both screen & aluminum back

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014


Though the current iPad 2 Smart Cover protects only the glass touchscreen of the device, Apple is rumored to be working on a new case that will also feature a rear shell.



Claims of a new official iPad case from Apple first surfaced on Monday in a report at iLounge credited to a "repeatedly reliable source." It was said that the new case will be similar to the Incase Magazine Jacket.



"This new case has a folding magnetized Smart Cover on the front, and a rear shell made from fiberglass covered with PU/bicast leather," the report said. "It's unclear whether this case will be solely for the thicker new iPad or include backwards compatibility for the iPad 2."



The iPad 2 Smart Cover was released last March along with Apple's second-generation tablet. Its unique design features a total of 21 magnets that allow it to automatically properly attach to an iPad 2, pairing up with 10 magnets found in the tablet itself.



Apple boasted that the iPad 2 was designed with its magnetic Smart Cover in mind. The iPad 2 even features a software setting that automatically locks and unlocks the device's screen when the cover is placed on or removed from the screen. Microfibers on the screen cover also clean the iPad 2 display.











Beyond the iPad, Monday's report also featured a claim about Apple's next-generation iPhone, suggesting that the company is "continuing to experiment with glass and ceramic rear shells." It was said that the next iPhone could look much like the current iPhone 4 but be thinner, thanks, in part, to Corning's new Gorilla Glass 2, which is just 0.8 millimeters thick with the same level of strength and durability.



"Our source suggests that the 30-pin Dock Connector is likely on the way out in the near future, and that a larger screen remains in the cards," the report said.











Claims that the back of the next iPhone will be made of glass, like the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4, are in opposition to reports from last year that suggested Apple planned to release a new handset with an aluminum back. Though rumors and case designs suggested Apple could release a redesigned iPhone last year, which proved to be false.



Still, last year's abundance of third-party cases that showed a redesigned iPhone have led to speculation that a new iPhone released in 2012 could feature a drastically redesigned exterior, with tapered edges and a slightly larger edge-to-edge screen.



[ View article on AppleInsider ]

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 54
    It will be interesting to see what they might come up with for an updated Smart Cover. Personally, I am keeping my Smart Cover from my iPad 2, and am going to use it with a Wrapsol back protector film. I did this with my iPad 2 and it kept it in perfect condition and added no bulk whatsoever!
  • Reply 2 of 54
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    ... Beyond the iPad, Monday's report also featured a claim about Apple's next-generation iPhone, suggesting that the company is "continuing to experiment with glass and ceramic rear shells." It was said that the next iPhone could look much like the current iPhone 4 but be thinner ... Claims that the back of the next iPhone will be made of glass, like the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4, are in opposition to reports from last year that suggested Apple planned to release a new handset with an aluminum back. ...



    The aluminium back rumour keeps going and going and going, when it makes almost no sense at all beyond the simple visual similarity such a device would have to iPad. It's a popular misconception based on the failure of most people to see design as concerned with anything other than physical appearance.



    Beyond the major problems it would have with signals and antennas, it would leave the iPhone much harder to service. It will never happen.



    It's a bad design for a phone and moving the antennas back inside would pretty much take away any space savings they get with the next generation iPhone. Why shrink all the components by 20% and then throw away that 20% smaller iPhone by moving the antenna back inside?



    I'm thinking we will see a smaller, slimmer iPhone next time, possibly smoother finish, but still with the steel antenna band on the outside where it belongs.
  • Reply 3 of 54
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    The aluminium back rumour keeps going and going and going, when it makes almost no sense at all beyond the simple visual similarity such a device would have to iPad. It's a popular misconception based on the failure of most people to see design as concerned with anything other than physical appearance.



    Beyond the major problems it would have with signals and antennas, it would leave the iPhone much harder to service. It will never happen.



    It's a bad design for a phone and moving the antennas back inside would pretty much take away any space savings they get with the next generation iPhone. Why shrink all the components by 20% and then throw away that 20% smaller iPhone by moving the antenna back inside?



    I'm thinking we will see a smaller, slimmer iPhone next time, possibly smoother finish, but still with the steel antenna band on the outside where it belongs.



    I agree about the aluminum back. I don't think it will be smaller though. The question on everyone's mind is whether it will have a bigger screen. I don't know how that can be done while maintaining the same pixel density as the iPhone 4.



    The design of the iPhone 4 is superb. Hard to improve upon. Knowing Apple, they will somehow do it.
  • Reply 4 of 54
    cory bauercory bauer Posts: 1,286member
    I really don't see Apple going back to a case that covers the entire iPad; the whole point of the Smart Covers was to get away from that. Per Steve Jobs himself when he unveiled Smart Covers:



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJkUUum6Q0Y



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Steve Jobs


    For the original iPad, we did a case. Case was pretty cool, it can prop the iPad up for typing or for watching movies. Worked pretty well except that we went to all this trouble to make a beautiful design and we covered it up with this case. Right? But more than that, we added thickness and weight to the product and we made it more difficult to use with some of the accessories. So we thought we could do better than this for iPad 2.



  • Reply 5 of 54
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post




    Beyond the major problems it would have with signals and antennas, it would leave the iPhone much harder to service. It will never happen.




    That would be like releasing a 3G iPad with an aluminum back, it'd never work. Oops.
  • Reply 6 of 54
    pendergastpendergast Posts: 1,358member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Buckeyestar View Post


    That would be like releasing a 3G iPad with an aluminum back, it'd never work. Oops.



    The 3G iPads have a plastic spot on the back. Given it is a larger device, it looks ok. Doing the same on the iPhone would mean a larger portion of the back by comparison would be plastic.
  • Reply 7 of 54
    conrailconrail Posts: 489member
    These cases sound expensive. Better get a case to go over it to protect it...
  • Reply 8 of 54
    tipootipoo Posts: 1,120member
    Not sure how I'd feel about that. The iPads back, thank freaking heaven, is pretty durable unlike iPods. The front needs more protection, hence the Smart Cover only covering that.
  • Reply 9 of 54
    A local radio station may have accidentally confirmed this on air today... apparently they have a palette of iPad 3's that they're already giving out as contest prizes. They've already awarded at least one but can't give them to the winners until Wednesday. I forget Mr. DJ's exact wording but it basically came down to a cover that covered the front and back, made out of similar materials to the smart cover.
  • Reply 10 of 54
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Pendergast View Post


    The 3G iPads have a plastic spot on the back. Given it is a larger device, it looks ok. Doing the same on the iPhone would mean a larger portion of the back by comparison would be plastic.



    Apple does have some interesting patents involving melding plastic, ceramic and metallic parts all into one seamless back piece but one has to wonder what the plus is of a unibody aluminium back on the iPhone if it can never be the whole (or even 60% of) the back.



    The chief value of the unibody design is mass manufacturing of a single-piece design. If it has to have these inclusions, it's less cost-effective and more complicated to manufacture.
  • Reply 11 of 54
    banchobancho Posts: 1,517member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tipoo View Post


    Not sure how I'd feel about that. The iPads back, thank freaking heaven, is pretty durable unlike iPods. The front needs more protection, hence the Smart Cover only covering that.



    +1 to this.



    My wife's iPad 2 looks great after nearly a year with only the smart cover to protect it. The aluminum back only has a single very small scuff from where my 5 year old dropped it on the garage floor. If anything, I really wish they used the same back for the iPod touch.



    On a slight tangent, I'm really happy with how the leather smart cover has held up. The leather has acquired a nice slightly weathered look.
  • Reply 12 of 54
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Pendergast View Post


    The 3G iPads have a plastic spot on the back. Given it is a larger device, it looks ok. Doing the same on the iPhone would mean a larger portion of the back by comparison would be plastic.



    No need for plastic on an aluminum backed iPhone. The antennas are on the outside. Remember antennagate? Besides, Liquidmetal is radio transparent. And the screen size will need to be larger to make room for the larger battery in the LTE iPhone. LTE requires a lot of energy. A bigger battery is needed to maintain acceptable battery performance.
  • Reply 13 of 54
    sol77sol77 Posts: 203member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bancho View Post


    On a slight tangent, I'm really happy with how the leather smart cover has held up. The leather has acquired a nice slightly weathered look.



    I'll plus one your tangent. My girlfriend and I were noticing a few months ago that her red leather smart cover had one hell of a cool, weathered look to it...we both agreed it actually improved the look.
  • Reply 14 of 54
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by juggernaut30 View Post


    ... Besides, Liquidmetal is radio transparent. ...



    Liquid Metal is not radio transparent.



    This is a popular misconception spread by tech blogs who believe it's some kind of miracle material. It is also not any lighter than regular metal (another misconception).



    Liquid metal is simply stronger, tougher and more elastic at the same size and thickness as regular metal. It's also ridiculously expensive and rarely used for anything larger than a tiny gear or pin.
  • Reply 15 of 54
    rot'napplerot'napple Posts: 1,839member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MojoRisinSD View Post


    It will be interesting to see what they might come up with for an updated Smart Cover.





    Let's see, Apple socks for the iPod...



    Hmmm... I got it! Apple Bloomers!





    /

    /

    /
  • Reply 16 of 54
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    The aluminium back rumour keeps going and going and going, when it makes almost no sense at all beyond the simple visual similarity such a device would have to iPad. It's a popular misconception based on the failure of most people to see design as concerned with anything other than physical appearance.



    Beyond the major problems it would have with signals and antennas, it would leave the iPhone much harder to service. It will never happen.



    It's a bad design for a phone and moving the antennas back inside would pretty much take away any space savings they get with the next generation iPhone. Why shrink all the components by 20% and then throw away that 20% smaller iPhone by moving the antenna back inside?



    I'm thinking we will see a smaller, slimmer iPhone next time, possibly smoother finish, but still with the steel antenna band on the outside where it belongs.



    Let's not forget about LiquidMetal! Maybe that's still too pie-in-the-sky, but that seems like a great candidate for all of these issues. If I'm not mistaken, it's electromagnetically transparent and would not cause interference. It's also super strong, so it could be quite thin and actually stronger than the iPhone 4 design.



    If the next iPhone has a larger display, it would probably also have a larger surface area. Maybe that would obviate the need to put the antennas on the outside? That is, overall volume might stay the same or even increase. Shave off a millimeter or two on depth and it'll look plenty slim and futuristic. But IMO there's plenty of space left, right, up and down that it could grow without getting unwieldily.
  • Reply 17 of 54
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by juggernaut30 View Post


    No need for plastic on an aluminum backed iPhone. The antennas are on the outside. Remember antennagate? Besides, Liquidmetal is radio transparent. And the screen size will need to be larger to make room for the larger battery in the LTE iPhone. LTE requires a lot of energy. A bigger battery is needed to maintain acceptable battery performance.



    And then the battery has to get even larger for the larger screen... then the screen needs to get larger to make room for THAT battery... then the battery - oh wait, maybe just make it a little thicker like the uhhhhh iPad 3?
  • Reply 18 of 54
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by acslater017 View Post


    If I'm not mistaken, it's electromagnetically transparent and would not cause interference.



    Gosh dang it, I used to say this, too. I hope people didn't read my misguided nonsense and not check to see if it was true.



    Though it was pretty widespread.
  • Reply 19 of 54
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bluefish86 View Post


    A local radio station may have accidentally confirmed this on air today... apparently they have a palette of iPad 3's that they're already giving out as contest prizes. They've already awarded at least one but can't give them to the winners until Wednesday. I forget Mr. DJ's exact wording but it basically came down to a cover that covered the front and back, made out of similar materials to the smart cover.



    What? I have a hard time believing this.
  • Reply 20 of 54
    rednivalrednival Posts: 331member
    My iPad2 once fell out of my car when I opened the door and onto the asphalt. It scuffed up a corner pretty bad. I was told it was a miracle the screen made it. The kind of landing the iPad had (on the corner) usually spells doom for the screen, or so I am told. The Smart Cover was on and it obviously did nothing for me and it sounded like the screen barely escaped disaster.



    As a result, I got an Otterbox case to cover the back. As far as I know, no cases that provide a great deal of rear case protection are compatible the Smart Cover. At least, I could not find one that looked to me like it would do a good job. So I essentially gave up on my Smart Cover. I saw that as a small price to have the back protected and shock absorption. I think protecting the corners probably protects the front screen more than the actual Smart Cover does. I am far less concerned about minor scratches and dents than the catastrophic damage an impact could cause.



    So this new case, if it exists, is probably a good thing. I would have certainly considered it when I was looking for a case.
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