iFixit tears down Apple's iPad 2 Smart Cover

Tech bloggers love iFixit. The website always purchases and dismantles new devices as soon as they hit the market, primarily for the benefit of people who want to repair equipment or who are curious about the innards of the latest shiny toys. Analysts use their work to determine the manufacturing cost of consumer electronics by finding out what components are being used. The site did a full teardown of the iPad 2 on Friday, and they've followed up with a dissection of the iPad 2 Smart Cover.

I'm using the term "dissection" since once you've cut open a Smart Cover, there's no way to reassemble the ingeniously-designed protective device. What did iFixit find? They used pieces of magnetic viewing film to discern the location of the magnets on both the iPad 2 and the Smart Cover. The 21 magnets on the Smart Cover not only work to align the cover to the iPad 2 in the correct configuration, but they also work with a special steel plate to hold the cover into the triangular shape used to prop up the iPad. One magnet has a special job; turning off the iPad 2 when the cover is closed.

The powerful array of magnets in both the iPad 2 and the Smart Cover complement each other in both shape and polarity so that it's virtually impossible to put the cover on incorrectly. The iFixit analysts noted that they had problems keeping the magnets separated after removing them from the iPad 2 and Smart Cover.

The Smart Cover teardown is a fascinating look into another example of Apple's design ingenuity at work.