Update: We just got our hands on the iPad 5 cases. A couple images above and a full gallery is after the break.
This certainly isn’t the first time that an iOS accessory maker made a bet on making cases for an unreleased Apple product. In fact, it has become somewhat the norm for CEO of case maker Gumdrop, Tim Hickman, who for many recent Apple products decided to make an investment and start accepting orders for cases of yet to be released products. It’s not always a losing game– Gumdrop sent over its iPad mini case the day before the iPad mini was even announced and, when we finally got out hands on the device, it fit perfect. However, this time around, there is a good possibility Gumdrop is betting on a rumored product that won’t be announced any time soon: the iPad 5.
We spoke with CEO of Gumdrop Tim Hickman about the bet he’s making on seeing an iPad 5 next week at WWDC and just how far into production the company is. We also got our hands on the first images of the three new cases the company is launching today for iPad 5, including: the Drop Tech Series, the Drop Tech Designer Series, and the Bounce Skin, all of which include the rumored slimmed down iPad mini-like design that is rumored for the iPad 5.
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Back in 2011 Hickman’s Hard Candy cases company started accepting preorders for iPhone 5 cases based on rumored designs leading up to the iPhone 4S launch, spending around $50,000 to create cases and accept preorders. Hickman points out that it was actually the only occasion that the company was wrong on its bet to manufacture cases prior to Apple announcing a product.
As for how far along the company is into the process, Hickman tells us the company started making molds for the new iPad 5 cases several months ago and already has 15,000 cases completed with another batch preparing for production as we speak. Hickman also notes that, “business has been good to Gumdrop and we can afford to take a pretty big bet, because the pay off is massive if we are right.”
Below is a side-by-side comparison of GumDrop Drop Tech designer series case vs an older iPad 4 case:
I’m amazed at how much smaller the overall form factor is, given the screen size is the same. That’s really an amazing piece of engineering by the Apple team. Hopefully our cases will continue to provide the protection and piece of mind that allow folks like K-12 Schools and businesses to rollout 1,000s of iPads at a time.
On its website, Gumdrop has just started advertising the new cases which include the two rugged Drop Tech series cases and the Bounce protective silicon case aimed at K-12 and other environments that need a little extra protection. Preorders don’t seem to be live yet, but we’ll let you know when they are.
The latest rumors indicate Apple will not be releasing new iOS hardware at WWDC, but Gumdrop seems to think otherwise based on its intel on the situation.
Update: We got our hands on the new Gumdrop iPad 5 cases earlier today: