XGear has provided iLounge with a pre-release look at its new Carbon Leather snap-on case for the Apple iPad. Sporting a design that covers the back of the iPad while snapping over the device’s four corners to provide a proper fit and added drop protection, the case also features a carbon fiber leather fabric exterior covering an ABS plastic shell, and open access to all ports and controls. XGear’s Carbon Leather snap-on case for iPad is expected to ship by April 3 and will sell for $50.
iKit has introduced two new cases for the Apple iPad. The iPad Drop Case is a form-fitting TPU case offering full access to all ports and controls, as well as an included screen protector and cleaning kit. It is now available for pre-order in a variety of colors and sells for $25. The iPad Leather Folio Case is made from genuine leather and features a padded, flip-style design with a horizontally-opening flap that doubles as a stand, an embossed brushed metal plate on the tip of the main flap, open access to all ports and controls, and an included screen protector and cleaning kit. It is also available for pre-order in black or gray and sells for $40.
Ozaki has provided iLounge with a pre-release look at its upcoming iPad accessories. The new lineup includes the iCoat iFit Pad, a plush sleeve-style case featuring a horizontal design and zippered closure, and the iCarry Pad, a unique case featuring a rotating, metallic-finish rear handle that doubles as both a horizontal and vertical stand. Finally, Ozaki will be offering an iCoat Invisible Pad screen protector for the iPad. Both the iCoat iFit sleeve and iCoat Invisible screen protector are expected to launch in mid-May, while the iCarry case is expected to ship at the end of May; pricing for all three products has yet to the announced.
STM has introduced its new Glove extra small laptop sleeve for the Apple iPad and other netbook-sized devices. Made from neoprene, the Glove offers 3mm of cushioning, a vertical, top-opening design, YKK zippers, and internal zipper guards to prevent scratching. STM’s Glove extra small laptop sleeve is available now in five different colors and sells for $30.
Scosche has introduced its new netSuit and netSuit Pro carrying cases for the iPad and other netbook-sized devices. The netSuit is a neoprene sleeve-style case featuring a reversible design and flap closure; it is available for $15. The netSuit Pro is a more traditional, briefcase-style bag with soft microfiber lining for protection against scratches, a zippered main compartment, external zippered pockets for additional storage, and handles that tuck into a pocket for added portability. It is also available now, and sells for $20.
Apple has banned protective screen film from its retail and online stores, iLounge has confirmed with several separate companies, a policy that will affect both cases and individual film packages beginning in May. In communications with vendors that have been ongoing for “some time now,” according to one company, Apple has said that it will remove both film-only solutions from its stores, as well as any case or other accessory that includes film protection as part of its package, such as cases that include film screen protectors. According to sources, the ban will impact all forms of screen film, including completely clear film, anti-glare film, and mirrored film, regardless of whether the purpose of the film is protective, decorative, or both. It will also prevent sales of film for iPods, iPhones, iPads, and Mac computers. One vendor speculated that the ban is an Apple marketing attempt to suggest screen durability, despite scratches that have damaged both plastic and glass displays of its products for years.
It is believed that Apple’s move will have ramifications for the accessory industry outside of its own stores, as the Apple Store constitutes a significant fraction of total sales for many developers, even though accessory manufacturers also sell their products through other channels. Despite consumer demand for film solutions, which are currently ranked the #1 most popular “cases” for both iPods and iPhones in the Apple Store, and the #6 and #7 most popular overall iPhone and iPod accessories, respectively, developers might not create separate versions of each case product, one without film for sale by Apple, and one with film for sale elsewhere. iLounge requested details on the change from leading film developer Power Support, which had no comment, as well as several case makers, who were aware of the new policy but had nothing to add. However, Mirage Mirror Screen Protector vendor XGear suggested that despite the Apple Store ban, its “marketing positioning will not change. This will open many new doors for us as we move forward in my opinion.”
iLounge has requested comment from Apple on this story and will update this article with additional details as they become known.
Update: We’ve posted responses to common reader comments on this story in a separate article.
Wearable, Inc. has introduced its new AirStash wireless flash drive with built-in media server. Airstash is a small device featuring a USB port on one end and an SD/SDHC card slot on the other. Once a card is inserted, users can fill the card with media from their desktop or laptop PCs, and then use the AirStash’s built-in Wi-Fi media server to access the content from any Wi-Fi-capable device with a web browser. Notably, the device’s browser-based interface has been optimized for the iPhone, iPod touch, and the iPad using HTML5, allowing Apple’s mobile devices to play and/or access any document, photo, audio, or video format supported by the iPhone OS. The AirStash is available now for $100.
Orbino has unveiled its new Padova Case for the Apple iPad. This form-fitting flip-style case is hand-stitched with waxed thread and constructed from fine leather and exotic animal skins. Features include a brushed metal Home button cover, a protective front cover with magnetic closure that flips open to serve as a vertical or horizontal stand, cutouts for the volume buttons, screen rotation lock switch, speakers, and headphone jack, and compatibility with Apple’s iPad Dock and iPad Keyboard Dock. Orbino’s Padova Case for the iPad is available for pre-order now in a variety of colors and materials; pricing starts at $209.
Belkin has introduced three new sleeve-style cases for the Apple iPad. The Vue Sleeve is made from neoprene and features a reinforced panel for screen protection, quilted lining, a transparent, expandable outer pocket for accessories, and zip closures on both the main iPad compartment and the exterior pocket. Also made of neoprene, the Max Sleeve features a pleated design that expands to fit more items inside, quilted lining, a reinforced panel for screen protection, and zippered main iPad and external accessory compartments. Finally, the Grip Sleeve combines a basic neoprene sleeve with a textured, laser-etched silicone surface for added grip, and also offers a soft inner lining, a reinforced screen protection panel, and a zippered closure. All three of Belkin’s new sleeves for the iPad will be available soon in purple or black and will sell for $40 each.
Alongside pre-orders of the iPad, Apple has begun accepting pre-orders for its initial range of iPad accessories. Apple’s iPad Case, priced at $39, the iPad Dock, which is priced at $29, and the iPad Dock Connector to VGA Adapter, also priced at $29, are expected to ship April 3, the same day as the first Wi-Fi-only iPads. The iPad Keyboard Dock, which sells for $69, is expected to ship in mid-April, while the iPad 10W USB Power Adapter, priced at $29, is scheduled to ship in late April. In addition, the AppleCare Protection Plan for iPad was also available, extending the warranty and complimentary telephone support coverage to two years for $99. Curiously, no pre-orders are yet being taken for the iPad Camera Connection Kit, as it was not listed anywhere in the store, and while the Apple Bluetooth Keyboard is listed alongside these other accessories, no pre-order is necessary, as it is already widely available.
Macally has announced its new line of accessories for the upcoming Apple iPad. The MetroClear is a clear, snap-on hardshell plastic cover, while the MetroLink combines a clear hardshell back panel with a silicone edge for added shock protection and grip, the MetroChrome adds a mirror finish to the snap-on hardshell MetroClear, and the Metro keeps the snap-on hardshell design but comes in black with a non-slip surface. The FlexFit is a clear soft case made from non-slip TPU material, while the mSuit is made from form-fitting, non-slip silicone and features a textured rear suface for added grip. Macally’s other iPad case, the BookStand, is a folder-style case with a full front cover that folds behind the case to act as a horizontal stand. All of Macally’s upcoming cases for the iPad offer full access to all ports and controls.
The ViewStand is an aluminum frame/stand for the iPad that allows the device to be mounted in any orientation, and features a scratch proof thermo polyurethane coating, pass-though openings for charging, and the ability to be used in a variety of angles. Finally, the iP-PAD808 is a four-way privacy screen protector, offering four-way screen darkening, an anti-smudge and glare resistant material, and a non-damaging, residue-free adhesive for easy application and removal from the device’s screen. Macally’s new lineup of accessories for the iPad are listed as coming soon; pricing has yet to be announced.
ModulR, Inc. has introduced its new modulR iPad case. The modulR case is made from soft-touch elastic polymer covering a strong thermoplastic shell, and features a detachable screen cover, a textured rear surface for added grip, and four round accessory bumpers on the rear. These bumpers allow it to securely attach to a host of accessories, including a wall mount, kickstand, shoulder strap, and car mount. The modulR case for the Apple iPad is expected to be available this summer; pricing has yet to be announced.
iKit has introduced its new Dura Case for the Apple iPad. This hybrid case combines a hard shell plate with a soft-grip border to offer impact resistance and protection against scratches and dings. Features include a form-fitting design, open access to all ports and controls, and an included screen protector and cleaning kit. iKit’s new iPad Dura Case is now available for pre-order in clear or black and sells for $40.
Quirky has introduced its new Cloak case for the Apple iPad. The Cloak sports an office folder-like design and non-slip rubber construction, with plastic on the hinge mechanisms and support braces. The iPad slides into the case from the top, and is completely protected when the case is shut; the case can also be used to prop the iPad up on a flat surface by either folding back the front cover or using the plastic support brace located on the case’s inside cover. Quirky’s new Cloak case for the iPad is available for pre-order now in a variety of colors and sells for $36.
WaterField Designs has introduced its new Smart Case and Slip Case accessories for the Apple iPad. Joining the company’s previously announced Ultimate SleeveCase and iPad Suede Jacket, the Smart Case is a top-loading case featuring an impact-resistant plastic inner shell with light padding, leather accents on the sides, Ultrasuede lining for protection against scratches, a color fabric exterior, and a “powermesh” back pocket for accessories. The Slip Case is a simple sleeve-style case featuring a quick-access top opening, a piece of internal impact-resistant plastic for screen protection, Ultrasuede lining, a pull tab at the bottom to help with device removal, and a washable, water-resistant outer material for protection from moisture. WaterField Designs’ Smart Case and Slip Case for the iPad are available for pre-order now in a variety of colors and sell for $59 and $29, respectively.
Sprout Creation has introduced its new Vers Wood case for the Apple iPad. Handcrafted from solid hardwoods and bamboo, the case features steel reinforcement for added strength, a soft, scratch resistant lining, a form factor that covers the rear, sides, and bezel of the iPad, a top-loading design, open access to the 30-pin connector, volume controls, headphone port, home and power buttons, and an optional integrated vertical stand. Sprout Creation’s Vers Wood case for iPad is listed as coming soon and will sell for $80.
Philips has launched a new webpage dedicated to its upcoming accessories for the Apple iPad. Included on the page are a new sleeve-style soft case that offers a reversible design with different inner and outer colors, a leatherette case with a velcro-closure top flap, neoprene lining, and added padding for the screen, and a screen protector. Also shown on the page are a device-agnostic portable speaker and a pair of headphones; no exact product names, pricing, or release dates have yet been announced.
Booq has introduced its new Boa skin XS case for the Apple iPad. Boa skin XS is a low-profile, sleeve-style case offering a rigid, durable “Twylon” base for impact protection, neoprene outer skin, and a soft non-scratch interior for added display protection. While the Boa skin XS can be carried on its own, the design is also good for protecting the device while in another bag, pack, or purse. Booq’s Boa skin XS sleeve for iPad is available now in turquoise, yellow, violet, sand, or black, and sells for $30.
Vestalife has announced its new Mantis speaker system, the first speaker system with an iPad-compatible dock. The new Mantis will increase in overall size 25% from its predecessor to accomodate docking of the iPad, and will also see an increase in overall power to accomodate the iPad’s charging demands, which will also increase acoustic performance. Other features such as the folding speaker “wing” design, digital amplifier, down-firing ported subwoofer, auxiliary input and video output jacks, optional 4 AA battery operation, built-in USB port for syncing, and the included, full-function remote will remain from the original Mantis. The new Vestalife Mantis will be compatible with the iPad, iPhone, and iPod and will come in black, red, or silver; pricing and release information has yet to be announced.
Essential TPE has announced two new cases for the Apple iPad. The Puff sleeve | S is fashioned after a puffy winter jacket, and offers a high-gloss nylon exterior, 4mm of neoprene and foam lining, and a zip closure. It will sell for $30. The Ultra Protection sleeve | slim is a sleeve-style case featuring a cross-weaved, 1680D nylon exterior, soft interior lining, EVA foam padding, and a Velcro-closure top strip for keeping the iPad securely inside the case. It will sell for $35. Finally, the vivid protector (ar) is an optical quality, anti-glare PET screen protector that offers reduced moiré, and an included application solution kit. It will sell for $25. All of Essential TPE’s new protective solutions for iPad are expected to ship by the mid-March.