It might not be an issue for you, but some users who have purchased new iPads have found that the magnets of their existing cases won’t turn the display on and off. This doesn’t just go for third-parties, either: even some old Smart Covers won’t turn the screen off.
What the heck’s going on? As it turns out, there’s a small change in the way the new iPad that only applies to magnetic cases: polarity now counts.
A friend and I were talking today about the iPad 2, the Smart Cover, and the 31 magnets they contain today. We were pondering what would happen when we tossed the iPad 2 with an attached Smart Cover into our laptop bags right next to a MacBook with a standard hard drive inside. A co-worker of my friend had brought this up earlier leading us to the question, “Can the iPad 2 and Smart Cover magnets damage (or erase) our MacBook Hard Drive? ”
The clear answer is — No! The myth about magnets erasing data from hard disks or computers is mostly false and a hard one to shake since many of us were trained to keep the two apart. Let me explain why the myth isn’t exactly true.
Just marvel at the engineering behind the iPad 2’s Smart Covers. Between them, the iPad 2 and its Smart Cover contain an incredible 31 magnets.
Apple has made extensive use of magnets in the past – to hold a remote control to the iMac, for example, or keep the lid of a MacBook closed. But it has never used so many magnets in a product, or so elegantly.
The 31 magnets in the iPad 2 and the Smart Cover:
clip the Smart Cover to the side of the iPad
Keep the Smart Cover attached to the screen when closed
ensure the Smart Cover retains its triangular shape when folded into a stand
instantly wake the iPad and put it to sleep when opened and closed
It’s really quite mind-boggling. iFixit has the details.