The new iPad looks a lot like the iPad 2 that came before it, but has all sorts of goodies packed inside to keep the evolution of the line moving forward. I won't detail the new features of the new iPad, that's been done too many times already.
One change in the new iPad got me wondering if accessories for the iPad 2 would still work with the new iPad, or if case makers were now scrambling to make changes to existing products. The new iPad is only 0.024 inch thicker than the iPad 2, but that's enough to make thin profile cases require changes to fit.
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The Apple Smart Cover for the iPad 2 works just fine on the new iPad as it is the exact same length and width. The cover sits on the front of the iPad so it doesn't require changing for the new iPad.
There are a lot of cases on the market for the iPad 2, however, that have very thin profiles to cover the tablet without adding bulk. These cases were tooled to fit the thin iPad 2 precisely, and for that reason the thicker depth of the new iPad may be too much.
I spoke with ZAGG about its ZAGGfolio case, my favorite keyboard case for the iPad 2. The iPad 2 requires a little force to slide into that case as it is tooled to fit it exactly, so I wondered if it would fit the new iPad. Most likely, the existing ZAGGfolio case will require changing to fit the new iPad. ZAGG plans on making changes to the ZAGGfolio case so it fits both the iPad 2 and the new iPad, a smart move to remain relevant in a crowded market. I will test my case with the new iPad when it arrives next week just to see how well it works.
I suspect there are quite a few other cases that need to be changed, and manufacturers must be scrambling right now. The iPad 2 accessory ecosystem is so large that it might be a huge amount of work caused by just 0.024 inch. This may end up being the most expensive tiny change the industry has ever seen.