Purchasers of Apple’s latest revision of the iPad report many issues using them with various covers and cases on the market. Even some of Apple’s own smart covers aren’t immune. According to their support forums, Apple modified the design specification of their smart covers some time in 2011, changing the model numbers at the same time. This change was made due to a decision to use a polarity sensitive magnetic switch in the new iPad. With the previous model, Apple received complaints of their units going to sleep when users tried to use them with the smart covers wrapped around the back. Without a polarity sensitive magnetic switch, the cover’s magnet sits directly behind the iPad’s front sensor and could accidentally trigger the device. Fortunately, consumers with the older model of an Apple smart cover can bring it back to their local Apple store for a free exchange for the newer design.
Third party cases with magnets in their covers may exhibit the same problem, but owners have to take those issues up with their respective manufacturers if they can’t simply get a refund or do an exchange with their retailer. Case-maker Maroo confirmed they will ship out updated cases to owners of their products having smart cover difficulties, and will let them keep their old cases as a bonus.
In other situations, the problem lies with the new iPad being just slightly thicker than older models. In a recent trip to my local Micro Center, the salesman in their store’s Apple section said they were generally having no issues with the leather or cloth “slip in” cases (such as the Booqpad Agenda case I selected), but hard plastic backed “snap in” cases were hit or miss propositions. He said in some situations, the new iPad wouldn’t snap into a case at all, but a second identical make and model of case worked fine.
Clearly, this is an issue that’s quickly being addressed, but you may still encounter problems on a case by case basis.