It seems that any time a new device is on the verge of being released, cases for the new device begin popping up on various retailers such as Amazon with ship dates. Without fail, a blog will pick this up as a hint toward a possible release date of said device, but is it in vain? Possibly.
Device launches are kept extremely close to the chest by companies such as Google and Apple, among other device manufacturers. This is done so the companies can control the PR flow on their own without letting it get out of hand and without impeding the sales of their current lineup of devices. On the flip side of that, there’s also a need for case manufacturers to begin production of cases so that the accessory ecosystem can begin growing at or around the time of the device’s release. Because of this, we know that some manufacturers most definitely receive measurables and dimensions of upcoming devices so they can begin the design process and start getting their factories ready for mass production.
While it’s not crazy to think that some companies get their hands on such information through other means, we do not see why release information would be provided to these case manufacturers and why they would even coincide their case release dates with a phone release.
For example, SPIGEN makes some very good cases for a wide variety of flagship smartphones. Some of their Nexus 5cases advertise an October 31st, 2013 ship date, which closely matches the schedule of rumors and buildup for the Nexus 5 based on the quality and proximity of recent leaks. However, SPIGEN is actually already shipping out some Nexus 5 cases to buyers without the device even officially in existence yet.
Other popular companies, such as Poetic, list their cases as releasing on November 17th, 2013. This date has not been attributed to any likely Nexus 5 launch date even though it closely matches that of the Nexus 4 last year.
It would make no sense for case manufacturers to hold off releasing their cases to match the device launch date because a customer is more swayed to purchase a product that’s already ready to ship as opposed to pre-ordering a case. It’s in the company’s best interest to make them and begin shipping as soon as possible.
And if these case manufacturers were somehow privy to the release plans of these major handsets, would they be allowed to so easily display these release dates on their listing pages without reprise from the company whom they’re developing cases for? After all, they want to retain a great working relationship in order to get schematics sooner to get their cases out the door quicker, so why would they jeopardize that?
While it’s possible that these companies are guesstimating device availability based on the timing of receiving certain information about the device, there’s no reason they shouldn’t be left in the dark regarding device launch plans, and should be more worried about getting the cases out the door the quickest once they receive the final design of the handset for which they’re developing the case for.
Could the Nexus 5 release on October 31st? Possibly, and if it does it’s pure coincidence and an accurate estimate, nothing more. But it does make good blog fodder for the news cycle.