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Will the Apple iPad 5 and iPad Mini 2 come with new smart covers?

Like some sort of electronic Great Gatsby, Apple sent out invitations to its media event in San Francisco with a distinctly elusive edge. Taking place tomorrow on 22 October, journalists are being gathered to witness what many expect will be the launch of Apple’s new iPad 5 and iPad Mini 2, but for those wanting information sooner the invite itself may provide clues as to what the technology giant is plotting.

“We still have a lot to cover”, reads the tagline of the event’s invitation in the company’s unassuming black and white print. The handful of words have now sparked rumours that customers will be treated to a new range of iPad covers – an assumption that (given Apple’s history of embedding clues in its invitations as to what may be revealed) may not be that farfetched.

For instance, at the media launch of Siri invites were graced with the tagline “Let’s talk iPhone”, whilst the unveiling of iPad 3 was emblazoned with: “We have something you really need to see. And touch.”

It seems that a new cover is likely to be in the works. This makes sense in light of the rumours that claim the iPad 5 will be thinner and lighter with a closer resemblance to the iPad mini, meaning that the old generation iPad smart cover won’t fit the new device.

Indeed, the new product launch is a valuable opportunity for Apple to launch a brand new range of covers to keep pace with recent innovative designs by Samsung and Microsoft. Apple’s brightly coloured previous-generation covers that fold up into a stand are still useful, but are now dwarfed by smart covers such as the one for Samsung’s S view, where the protective casing is imbued with a small window that allows users to see important information such as date, time and battery life even when the screen is covered.

Similarly, Microsoft’s keyboard cover for its Surface tablet doubles as both a screen protector and QWERTY keyboard, putting pressure on Apple to deliver a rival cover that delivers on both protective and usability fronts. The news that the new iPads may feature a fingerprint sensor may herald the arrival of a cover with a small opening to allow users access to the TouchID sensor for rapid unlocking.

Apple has always relied upon third-parties like Logitech to create iPad friendly keyboards, but it will be interesting to see if the company uses this opportunity to start manufacturing its own.

Of course, it is entirely possible that the message merely alludes to the actual iPad case itself, suggesting the new iPad 5 and iPad Mini 2 will be released in a range of bright colours similar to the iPhone 5C. Not only would this add further continuity between the devices, it would also allow Apple to compete in the growing market for lower cost tablets.

Or we could be entirely reading into this and Apple is simply commenting on the vast amount of information it has to get through in San Francisco.

Whatever the reason, check back with ITProPortal tomorrow night for our live blog that will be providing up to date coverage of all the facts from the launch event.