Accessory maker MiniSuit recently sent images of a purported fifth-generation iPad case to BusinessInsider with claims that the new model tablet is expected to be on store shelves in June. A representative for MiniSuit says the company has already begun manufacturing the redesigned cases based on a strong belief that their sources are correct.
MiniSuit’s “Steven W.” claims that the company “heavily invests” in tips about future mobile products in order to be ready with new cases when they hit store shelves. He claims that the information comes from factories that MiniSuit works closely with.
While it is possible that the case manufacturer knows more than the rest of us with regards to the size, shape, and availability of the fifth-generation iPad, it is not unusual for accessory makers to roll the dice when it comes to making cases based on speculation. For some companies, the risk is worth the price. If the accessory maker guesses correctly, they become one of the first on the market, giving them an advantage over latecomers.
The image that BusinessInsider received shows three cases, side-by-side. The first is the current model iPad mini, the middle is the purported iPad 5 case, and next to it is a fourth-generation iPad case. The iPad 5 case is smaller than the current iPad model and no longer has an angled edge. It is shaped much like the iPad mini and has ports for two speakers at the bottom, middle instead of one off to the side. The case also has a hole for the traditional back-facing camera, but it appears to have an additional hole at the center, which leads one to question if Apple is adding something to the fifth-generation iPad that is not available in any other model. What that might be is a complete mystery.
MiniSuit’s belief that Apple will launch a new model of iPad in June is way off the mark of industry analyst predictions. The company normally launches a new iPad model in the Spring, around March or April. Last year, Apple released a faster version of the third-generation iPad to everyone’s surprise in the fall. If a fifth-generation model does not make it to store shelves by April, it is more likely that Apple will wait for a holiday season launch based on the huge success of last year’s iPad revamp and iPad mini release.