This morning, a video hit the web that purportedly showed off a slew of new Apple Smart Covers designed for the upcoming fifth-generation iPad. While we were skeptical this morning, many viewers of the claimed leak believed that the covers were authentic. Sure the quality looks fine and the covers fit the size of the much leaked upcoming iPad, but one part did not sit right with me: the metal hinge.
When Apple introduced the iPad mini’s new design last year, the accompanying Smart Covers dropped the metal-hinge of the larger versions in favor of a fully-clothed design. We know that Apple will be adopting the iPad mini’s design for the new full-sized iPad, so why would they drop the consistency and introduce yet another Smart Cover with metal hinges?
After looking into this morning’s video some more, I’ve discovered that these covers are readily available from online stores in China. For example, for just under $5 a piece, you can order an “iPad 5 Smart Cover” from Alibaba. So why are these fake? First of all, it’s unlikely that Apple-made Smart Covers would be available for an upcoming product in such vast quantities (for so cheap) on websites like Alibaba.
Second, the particular seller of these cases sells several other fake covers for Apple devices, including a plastic-backed cover for the iPad 5. Additionally, both of these cover designs come in several colors (such as Purple and White) that Apple has never offered for a Smart Cover.
Besides referring to these cases as “Smart Covers,” the sales website calls them “Flip Cover leather Case for iPad5,for iPad5 smart cover stand case.” The generic title seems to imply that these are not official, Apple-built accessories. Additionally, the name “Apple” is never mentioned on the product sales pages.
We’ve also reached out to a salesperson at the Alibaba store to enquire if the cases are Apple-made. They said that “original” ones are only sold direct from Apple.