Apple’s new Smart Case is the natural evolution of the Smart Cover

Apple Smart CaseSpeaking about the Smart Cover, introduced with the iPad 2 in March last year, Steve Jobs said “it’s not a case — it’s a cover.” Rarely one to mince words, Jobs’ minimalist statement was absolutely correct. The Smart Cover covers the screen and performs a few functions, but doesn’t really protect the iPad in the same way as a wraparound case.

Just about every third-party accessory manufacturer immediately saw the opportunity to fix this, and introduced hard shell iPad cases with Smart Cover-like front pieces, offering the best of both worlds to owners of Apple’s latest tablet.

Now, 15-months after the launch of the iPad 2 and three months after the new iPad, Apple has introduced the Smart Case, it’s own version of the many case/Smart Cover combinations already available.

It’s odd timing, as one would have thought the Smart Case would have been best introduced with the new iPad in March, but perhaps Apple was too busy making “the best computer they’ve ever made?

Made from polyurethane, just like the Smart Cover, it’s available in a variety of colors, ranging from dark grey to shocking pink, and as it now covers the whole of your tablet, it can brighten it up considerably. At the moment, Apple isn’t offering a leather option.

It works in exactly the same way as before, with the Smart Cover acting as a stand, but here the rear section protects the aluminum from scratches. The usual automatic wake and sleep feature is there too. One model appears to fit both the iPad 2 and the new iPad, and as with many other Apple products, there’s a laser engraving service available.

The price for the Smart Case, regardless of color but without an engraved message is $49, or £39 if you’re in the UK.