Apple’s popular smart cover for the iPad 2 only offers protection for the front of the device, but the company is apparently busy on a new solution that will protect the rear shell as well.

According to iLounge, a “repeatedly reliable source” told the site that Apple is working on a new Smart Cover for the iPad 3, which is expected to be unveiled at an event on Wednesday in San Francisco. The new tablet will apparently sport LTE connection options, an improved processor and Siri functionality.

The new option will feature a folding, magnetized front cover like the current Smart Cover, along with a real shell made from fiberglass covered with polyurethane/bicast leather. The cover is expected to be similar to the pictured Magazine Jacket case from Incase.

It’s not known whether the new cover would be compatible with the iPad 2 or only fit the slightly thicker iPad 3. The current Smart Cover uses magnets situated on the case and built inside the iPad 2 to automatically wake the device when opened.

The report also throws some new iPhone 5 rumors into the mix. Even with more than a year of speculation on an aluminum-backed version, the source told iLounge that Apple is continuing to play with designs that use glass and ceramic for the rear shells.

The possible new design would be similar to the iPhone 4, but thinner thanks to stronger Gorilla Glass 2 and smaller components inside the phone. iLounge also confirmed an earlier report that Apple is looking to possibly do away with the familiar 30-pin dock connector.

As also rumored for some time, a bigger screen for the next iPhone “remains in the cards.”

Are you excited that a new Smart Cover may offer full protection for the new iPad 3, and hopefully the iPad 2?