Will Apple introduce a 7-inch iPad? Case makers think so. (+video)
Makers of cases and other accessories have already started producing products designed to fit an iPad with a 7-inch screen, which they expect Apple to introduce on Tuesday.
Pundits and rumor collectors might have been wrong on the timing of a 7-inch iPad Mini device, expecting it to be announced along with the iPhone 5 on Sept. 12. But it looks like the substance of the iPad Mini rumors was correct, two accessory makers have told TechNewsDaily.
Companies that make accessories often have the best insider information, because they have to churn out a lot of product as fast as they can, and many of them have to fit the core product exactly.
Many major players nailed it with the iPhone 5, which saw more companies than usual pre-producing items that were exact fits. Speck, a maker of complex, tight-fitting cases, built them in advance for the first time ever with the iPhone 5, the company told us. Previously, its best turnaround had been 30 days after launch for the popular Samsung Galaxy S III smartphone.
In comparison, most companies were very cautious about the iPad Mini. Popular case manufacturer iLuv, for example, produced just a single case for the Sept. 12 event. And it was a soft cover with enough give to accommodate the possibility of slight inaccuracies in the info the designers had received.
But some companies display more confidence. Turkish-based Trust showed off an entire line of cases, essentially a mock store display, back in the first week of September at the IFA Berlin tech show.
Also at IFA was Skech, which sells products for most Apple mobile devices as well as for Samsung Galaxy phones. The company had iPhone 5 cases at the time, and is now ready for the iPad Mini. In an email to TechNewsDaily, Kfir Benshushan, the company's marketing director, said, "As for [the] mini iPad, information has not changed much since IFA." The company has already produced two iPad Mini products, in fact — a cover, very similar to Apple's own smart cover, called Flipper and a case called SkechBook.
A representative of another accessory maker, who asked not to be named and that we also not name the company, said in an email, "We do have confidence in the information we're receiving." However, the company has chosen not to make accessories in advance this time, but instead to wait until it has iPad Minis in hand.
And there could still be surprises. Benshushan of Skech said that he is concerned about the likely iPad Mini 's version of the magnet that holds covers in place. "Rumors strongly suggests that the magnet on the mini iPad will be completely different from [the one in] the iPad," he wrote. "How exactly? I can't say."
In any case, we won’t have to wait much longer to find out.
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