Accessory maker Gumdrop has launched three cases for the iPad 5 in preparation for a WWDC launch of the new Apple tablet, despite most experts' predictions that we won't see a new iPad until later this year.
Gumdrop's new cases, which include the Drop Tech Series, the Drop Tech Designer Series and the Bounce Skin, have been made to fit the proportions of the rumoured slimmer, iPad mini-like design of the next-generation iPad. See: iPad 5 rumour roundup
This is not the first time Gumdrop has made cases for an Apple product before it has been announced. Last year, Gumdrop sent out its iPad mini case on the day before the smaller iPad was announced, and it turned out to be a perfect fit, according to 9To5Mac. However, Gumdrop CEO Tim Hickman might not be so lucky this year, with most reports suggesting that an iPad 5 launch is not on the cards for WWDC's 10 June keynote.
In 2011, Hickman made the mistake of accepting pre-orders for iPhone 5 cases from his Hard Candy store, but the device turned out to be the iPhone 4S, and did not have the new proportions specified in rumours around the web.
Hickman told 9To5Mac that Gumdrop began making molds for the new iPad 5 cases "several months ago" with 15,000 cases already made and another batch about to enter production. "Business has been good to Gumdrop and we can afford to take a pretty big bet, because the payoff is massive if we are right," Hickman said.
Related: Best cases for the iPad
"I'm amazed at how much smaller the overall form factor is, given the screen size is the same," Hickman continued. "That's really an amazing piece of engineering by the Apple team."
On the Gumdrop website, Hickman writes: "Just like most consumers we can't wait for the next iPad! The iPad is fun and it's fun to design and produce these cases faster than anyone. So, here you go! We're pretty confident these cases will fit. If for some reason they don't, we'll replace the case at no charge."
That really is a pretty big bet…