Race to Launch Day: The Story of an iPad Case Maker

Every major Apple (s aapl) product launch tends to follow a pattern that many of us have just accepted. Long lines, constrained supply and lack of accessories are all common for the launch day. But with the release of the iPad right around the corner, one company dared to follow Apple’s advice to the world. Instead of the frustrating experience of buying a new iPad and not being able to get a quality case for days or even weeks, Hard Candy Cases will be ready to deliver on day one — and all it took was just thinking different.

A visit to Hard Candy’s website quickly reveals that its iPad cases will ship this month, ahead of the launch for the device itself. Digging deeper, these cases are not just generic cases that happen to fit the general size of the iPad, but quality cases that snugly fit Apple’s multitouch wonder. So how did the company pull off quality products on such an amazing timeline? Read More about Race to Launch Day: The Story of an iPad Case Maker

iPad Accessories Detailed: Keyboard Dock, Case & More

During today’s unveiling of Apple’s long-awaited tablet, now officially known as the iPad, Steve Jobs also briefly detailed a couple of accessories that will be making their way to market to go with the new 9.7-inch device, one of which is a keyboard dock, with another being a protective case.

The keyboard dock not only acts as a charging station for the iPad, but as the name suggests also offers an integrated full-sized keyboard. Jobs commented on stage that the need for a specific physical keyboard, versus that of the iPad’s on-screen offering, is useful for when “you really need to do a lot of typing”; giving the example “if you’ve got to write War & Peace, just plug your iPad in.” Read More about iPad Accessories Detailed: Keyboard Dock, Case & More

Rumor Has It: New Parts and Supplier Details Emerge for Apple Tablet

Everything’s beginning to come together for the launch of Apple’s (s aapl) tablet — quite literally, in fact, as Apple’s suppliers for the device begin to ship component parts or are ramping up for production in the near future. That’s according to a report issued by news service Reuter’s Friday afternoon.

Two Taiwanese companies are cited in the report as having received the contracts for the aluminum casings and the touchscreen panels that the upcoming Apple slate will use in its construction. If true, this means that the tablet will indeed sport an aluminum enclosure, and I’d expect something akin to the unibody construction process used in the MacBook Pro casing to be applied here. Imagine the build quality of that machine, without a hinge as a point of weakness. It’ll be quite hardy. Read More about Rumor Has It: New Parts and Supplier Details Emerge for Apple Tablet

Apple Granted Permanent Injuction Against Psystar

Despite Apple and Psystar having discussed a potential settlement in their drawn-out battle, the agreement was dependent upon the outcome of Apple’s (s aapl) motion for a permanent injunction. Yesterday, the California U.S. District Court responsible for ruling in the matter issued its decision, and the outcome is not favorable for the Mac clone maker.

Apple, however, will be very pleased with the ruling. The court granted Apple’s request for a permanent injunction, barring future sales of any machines with OS X pre-installed. It also prohibits Psystar from trying to get around Apple’s technological countermeasures put in place to prevent illegal copying and use of OS X, and from helping others try to do so. Read More about Apple Granted Permanent Injuction Against Psystar

Gift Guide: 9 Luxurious Apple Accessories

Have you started your holiday shopping yet? If you need ideas for tech gifts, here is a handpicked selection of some of the most luxurious and desirable Apple-related items from across the globe.

Waterfield Designs: Cases for Apple Purists

Like some of you, I’m quite the “Apple purist.” I’m not a fan of fancy cases that junk up my Macs. I don’t like skins for my iPods and those plastic snap cases for my laptop. We all know that Apple designs beautiful products, so we might as well show them off! Balancing protection and beauty, the stylish and functional cases from Waterfield Designs are some of the highest quality cases I have ever used.

New iPhone Case Backing Photos Making the Rounds

154412-chinaaSome new spy shots of what some sites are claiming could be the new back case of an upcoming iPhone revision have been popping up in all the usual places recently. The images are surprisingly clear and in-focus, considering the general quality of early leaked shots, and depict what appears to be a matte black finish with etched or inlaid metal Apple logo and product detail writing.

The original source of one of the photos, iPodObserver, and the source of yet another that appears to be of the same casing, MacRumors, are both of the opinion that the case-back is made of metal, though I have my doubts. Metal casing would be a move backwards in iPhone development, since the original reason for switching to plastic was to improve signal reception by reducing interference. It could be a rough or rubberized plastic finish with the same shiny inlay as the current generation, though, which in my mind would be a sexy improvement.
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Three Handy Accessories for Your iPhone

America has a new president, so it’s only fitting that you should have new accessories for you iPhone, right? Today we’ve got three non-partisan gadgets to add to or improve the functionality of your iPhone.

Marware Game Grip

Regardless of whether you think the iPhone is or isn’t a better gaming machine than the PSP or the DS, there are times when you wish the device had been designed with more traditional gaming aesthetics in mind. Marware’s Game Grip for iPhone 3G and iPod touch gives you a classic gaming feel that’ll be especially familiar to users of Microsoft’s SideWinder motion-sensing PC gaming controller.
Be warned: Like Nintendo’s Wii Racing Wheel, this is little more than an elaborate holder for your iPhone, like the Wii Wheel, some players may find it indispensable for certain games. The Game Grip also has a clever built-in cord management system for charging, and a mini-stereo jack extender so that you can still use your headphones while playing. The comfortable silicon grip will also ensure your iPhone doesn’t slip out of your greasy palms. The Game Grip is available now for $49.99.
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JLab iPhone Case

I have always been a fan of the Apple iPod case that came with my 3G iPod when I bought it over 4 years (you remember, those cheap fabric cases that you just slide the ipod into). In fact, I still use the iPod and the case. So, when I received the JLab iPhone case, which is basically the same form factor as that classic iPod case, I thought I would have a winner. The case itself is made from “Deluxe MicroSued” which somewhat resembles leather. Sandwiched between the “MicroSued” is a harder material (probably cardboard or a thin plastic sheet). The case is definitely made exactly for the iPhone, as the iPhone slips right in and fits snugly in the case. It also has your standard belt clip on the back, again, covered in pleather “MicroSued” which you can clip to your belt for the ultimate “I’m a geek that works in IT” look right next to your beeper.

JLab iPhone Case

Overall, there isn’t much to complain about when it comes to the actual product itself. It seems to be made with decent materials and the construction/manufacturing quality seems high. In my brief usage testing the product, it showed no signs of wear and came clean when I got some food on it (ketchup). However, looks can be deceiving, and when it came to actually using the case, I discovered some major problems (for me personally).

The first major problem I have with the the case relates to it’s form factor. If you have an iPhone, you know that the speaker that handles all the audio output, including the ringer, is located along the bottom edge of the phone. And if you have ever put your finger over those speaker holes, you know that it’s pretty easy to cover them up, and when they are covered up, there is almost no sound output. Well, what happens when you put your iPhone in the case, and smoosh (remember how tight I said it fit above) those speaker holes up against 2 layers of “MicroSued” and cardboard/plastic? You get an EXTREME decrease in volume. Couple that with having the phone in your pocket and it’s basically impossible to hear your ringer. I “received” 4 calls in the time I was reviewing the product and I missed all 4 because I couldn’t hear them.

The second, and more minor beef I have with the case is it’s thickness. It feels like it doubles the thickness of the iPhone, and for someone that LOVES the thinness of the iPhone, this increase in thickness just doesn’t cut it for me. However, if you were going to keep this bad boy hanging on your belt, this probably isn’t a problem for you. I, however, am a front pocket guy and I just couldn’t handle it.

All in all, the JLabs iPhone case is not “bad” per-se, but I certainly can’t recommend it to anyone, because if your buying a phone case, you’ve got to be able to hear your phone ring.

Belkin wastes no time and releases new iPod cases

Belkin iPod classic Case

Within a day of Apple releasing their new line of iPods, Belkin has announced the release of 3 new iPod cases/armbands to fit the new styles.

The new cases start at around $20 and aren’t really anything industry revolutionizing. Though the new iPod classic armband they are releasing does include a nifty little “cable capsule” to give you a convenient place to store your headphones.
All their new cases/armbands are expected to be released in early October 2007.
If you’re just aching to get your hands on some accessories for your new iPods, check out Belkin’s line of products that are already compatible with the new iPods.