It turns out that the magnetic "Smart Covers" introduced in conjunction with the iPad 2 earlier this month are every bit as "magnetic" as they sound. Based on the not-so-surprising findings of the iFixit team, a teardown of the new iPad 2 Smart Cover reveals that 21 magnets are housed in the new accessory with another 10 corresponding magnets built into the iPad 2 itself.
Based on the teardown, iFixit found the Smart Cover has only one magnet that turns off the iPad 2's screen (although it should be noted that other magnetized tools can similarly activate on/off). The other 30 magnets are used to either clamp to the iPad on the right side or to establish the triangular shape needed to create a stand for the tablet. As expected, the alternating polarity of the magnets in the iPad 2 is "complemented by the opposite alternating polarity of the magnets in the Smart Cover," making certain that the revolutionary iPad cover always sits in the same orientation.
We were curious earlier why Apple decided to use so many magnets on the right side of the Smart Cover. They needed at least four to complement those in the iPad 2, but why the other ten? They used a steel-to-magnet bond (which is weaker than a magnet-to-magnet bond) to form the triangular stand, and so they needed lots more magnets to prevent the case from literally falling apart during use.