First iPad Mini Case Appears, Ahead of Apple Announcement

We usually see generic, third party cases from overseas on sites like eBay ahead of Apple event announcements, but one popular case maker is so sure that Apple is announcing a smaller sized iPad that it’s already begun shipping out test units of a new iPad mini case.

Gumdrop Cases, known for creating protective covers for a range of electronic devices, has already manufactured cases for Apple’s upcoming iPad mini.

The cases, which were sent to Wired’s Gadget Lab are part of the company’s “Drop Tech Series,” which feature extra rugged protection against drops and scratches.

Gumdrop designed these cases based on leaked iPad mini specs and renderings. Each case features volume buttons on the right side, a headphone jack on the upper left, and a centered home screen button on the bottom. There are also spaces for speaker grates on either side of the Lightning dock connector.

Will Gumdrop’s gamble pay off? If the specs are off, it could cost the company a pretty penny, but if it’s spot on, there’s a huge benefit to having the first case on the market.

Apple is expected to unveil the iPad mini today at a media event in San Jose, California, which begins at 10 a.m. PDT. Tune in to PadGadget for full event coverage.

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