Apple quietly launches new smart case for iPad at WWDC amid iOS 6 and Retina display MacBook Pro madness

Amidst the various big-ticket announcements at its Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) so far, Apple also managed to slip in a few small upgrades, including a new iPad case that covers the entire tablet.

The new cover is known as the iPad Smart Case. Its predecessor, the Smart Cover, is a magnetic strip that hooks on the edge of the iPad and covers the tablet's 9.7-inch screen. The Smart Case now protects the back of the iPad, too.

"The slim yet sturdy iPad Smart Case protects your iPad screen and its aluminium back. So your iPad is fully covered on all sides. And colourful too," the Smart Case's updated description reads.

Buyers can have their Smart Case engraved at no extra charge.

The addition appears to be purely for protection; the new Smart Case does not provide any functionality upgrades from the Smart Cover. You can still fold back the Smart Case's front flap to prop it up for typing or stand up for video viewing.

The new, polyurethane Smart Case is on sale now in the US in light gray, dark gray, blue, green, pink, and red (right). The Smart Cover is also still on sale - £35 for the polyurethane, and £59 for leather.

Apple first unveiled the Smart Cover in March 2011 during the launch of the iPad 2.

ITProPortal continues to offer the UK's most comprehensive coverage of Apple's WWDC 2012, which kicked off yesterday with a series of eagerly anticipated announcements: the launch of the new MacBook Pro with Retina display and the confirmation of an autumn release for iOS 6 being two of the most significant.