Apple iPad 5: Case Maker Still Confident In Specs, Despite Being Wrong About WWDC 2013 Release Date

  @redletterdave on June 13 2013 12:02 PM

Tim Hickman, the CEO of Oakland, Calif.-based Gumdrop Cases, says he will not pull the recently released iPad 5 cases from his store, even though he had predicted the iPad 5 would be released at WWDC 2013 this week, which obviously didn't happen.

"Gumdrop iPad 5 case debuting ahead of the Worldwide Developers Conference was a complete gamble, but we’ve been right four out of five times," Hickman said in a statement to IBTimes. "Even though Apple didn’t announce the iPad 5, we are confident that the dimensions we have are correct."

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Gumdrop Cases' one major miss happened in 2011, when it built a tall iPhone case expecting an iPhone 5 to be released, when Apple instead chose to release its 3.5-inch iPhone 4S, which had the same dimensions of its predecessor, the iPhone 4.

Gumdrop Cases is still adamant about the specs of the iPad 5, even if it's unsure about the device's eventual release date. The iPad 5 cases from Gumdrop Cases, including the $34.95 Gumdrop Bounce and the $59.99 Gumdrop Drop Tech Designer Series, are both designed around iPad 5 rumors, which predict a form factor that's thinner and smaller than the fourth-generation iPad thanks to much thinner side bezels -- like its little brother, the iPad mini.

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Cases and shells for the new iPad 5 were leaked in April by a British blogger named Tactus; the iPad shells revealed a new dark aluminum form factor, similar to that of the iPad mini. The specs look very consistent with previous reports of the iPad 5, which say the fifth-generation Apple tablet would feature a tapered backplate with thinner side bezels that shrink the overall size without needing to adjust the tablet's 9.7-inch Retina display.

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In December, Apple blog Macotakara pegged the iPad 5 to be 4mm shorter and 17mm narrower than the iPad 4, which would be about as thin as the first-generation iPad Mini. These dimensions have aligned well across all our previous iPad 5 leaks, which range from external shells to third-party cases and accessories, and also appear to be featured in Gumdrop Cases' iPad 5 cases as well.

While the only major reported changes in the iPad 5 are visual, Tactus (and several others) believe the iPad 5 will release with Sharp's proprietary IGZO technology to house an even denser, more colorful and more accurate Retina display.

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"IGZO displays use up to 90 percent less power than previous generation iPad displays, which means a smaller battery that reduces the overall weight and thickness," Tactus said in a blog post. "Everything’s slimming even more with every leak and rumour, I even think with the use of the IGZO display, Apple will be able to use a much slimmer LED backlight. I’m inclined to think the iPad 5 will shape up to be just 7.2mm thick because of the above points!"

Taiwan-based Innolux Corp. (TPE:3481), which is one of Apple’s key component suppliers, has reportedly licensed Sharp's proprietary IGZO display technology, so it's possible Apple may implement IGZO technology into the iPad 5 when it sees its release later this year. A note from Asymco analyst Horace Dediu in December also points to the likelihood that Apple will implement Sharp's ultrathin display technology in its next round of iPhones and iPads, given Apple's $2.3 billion investment in the Japanese display maker.

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Besides the external specs, we don’t know much about the software features in the iPad 5, but we do know all of the new features in iOS 7 will reach the iPad when it's released, and the iPad may even add a few interesting previously published Apple patents, including a built-in stand and backside controls for a better gaming experience. If Apple ports iOS to the Apple TV, the iPad 5 could also serve as a great game controller.

Some originally believed the iPad 5 would see its release in April, while others foresaw a release date between July and August. Since Apple didn't unveil the iPad 5 at WWDC 2013, the company will likely want to ride out the hype wave created from its new hardware and software releases, so fans might look for a release date in August, but given how Apple doesn't like to release new software without some new hardware to go with it, fans may expect a true release date between September and October to coincide with the fall release date of iOS 7.

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