iPad 2 Smart Covers: Incase Magazine Jacket inspired, or Japanese tub?

Apple's Smart Covers may or may not be the best way to protect your iPad 2 – after all, they leave the whole back panel unguarded, and three of the four edges too – but we're too busy wondering where Apple got its inspiration from to care. Technologer flagged up the striking similarities between the Smart Covers and Incase's iPad Convertible Magazine Jacket, but it's the resemblance between Apple's design and Japanese bath tub lids that has us really suspicious.

The Incase Jacket has the same multi-folding front as Apple's official Smart Covers, which fold in various ways to prop the iPad up at a suitable angle for either watching video or for typing. Obviously there's no magnetic magic, automatically taking the iPad in and out of suspend, but it's hard to deny the similarity.

Perhaps slightly less serious – but already on its way to becoming a Japanese meme – is the fact that the folding protectors look a whole lot like a traditional bath tub cover. As TUAW translates, the text in the above image says "Completely Identical." Did Jonathan Ive get his inspiration while luxuriating in a soapy tub? We may never know.