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Targus, Maroo, Apple to replace iPad 2-compatible cases

updated 02:05 am EDT, Thu March 22, 2012

Some sleep-wake models don't work with new iPad

After reporting yesterday that some older Apple Smart Covers and third-party covers with the same "sleep/wake" magnetic functionality don't consistently work with the latest third-generation iPad, some accessory manufacturers are offering free replacement covers if a customer's iPad 2-compatible cover doesn't work. Long-time accessory maker Targus confirmed that it would replace cases free of charge for new iPad customers, AppleInsider reports.

The previous model of iPad and the new one both have magnetic sensors that tell the iPad to go to sleep or wake up automatically when the low-power magnets embedded in the Smart Cover are detected. At some point in 2011, Apple changed the sensors in its own Smart Covers to be sensitive to polarity as well, likely to prevent future Smart Covers from accidentally putting an iPad to sleep when the Smart Cover was folded back.

In solving one problem, however, it appears to have created another -- both for itself and for third-party case makers who often incorporate similar sleep/wake functionality in their front cover designs. With the debut of the new iPad, factors like the sensor change have made performance of older Smart Covers and third-party magnetic covers inconsistent at best and non-functional at worse. There have been a few reports that some cases, like the Miniot, produce visible interference in the new iPad when used as a stand.

Apple Stores have been said to be willing to replace the iPad 2 Smart Covers with newer ones when customers complain, and now third-party companies are also offering to replace iPad 2-compatible cases if the sleep/wake function does not perform as advertised. One of the people who originally discovered the cause of the issue, photographer Dan Booth, reports that Maroo, the company whose cases he featured in his video demonstrating the issue, have offered replacements. Targus today announced that it would do the same, saying it will "replace any of the new iPad cases at no charge."

One reader has already reported receiving a replacement Targus Slim model from the company. More case and accessory companies are expected to make the same offer after testing their existing stock, but it remains a mystery why Apple didn't inform case-makers of the change, even though at the time it was probably considered a very minor adjustment.

Other minor changes have accompanied the new iPad, occasionally causing issues even with Apple's own accessories. The slightly thicker and more tapered back of the third-gen model makes form-fitting iPad 2 shell cases almost unusable, and Apple's own older Digital AV adapter throws up a warning when used with the new iPad, though it still functions properly. [via AppleInsider]

by MacNN Staff



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