ESR takes a chance launching cases for 12.9-inch iPad Air before announcement

in iPad edited April 22

Before the expected 12.9-inch iPad Air has even been confirmed, ESR has launched a range of case models for it.

Tablet with video editing software open on a stand with a blurred background of a room.
A 12.9-inch iPad Air on an ESR magnetic case

ESR already makes a range of Qi2 charging devices for the iPhone, and its lower-cost alternative to the Apple Pencil has been praised. Now it's released a case for a product that officially doesn't exist yet, and it's a gamble for both ESR and for customers.

It is as close to certain as it possibly can be that Apple will shortly release a 12.9-inch iPad Air. It's also close to certain that Apple will have already released information about it to at least some accessory makers -- and ESR is a long-standing third-party manufacturer.

So it's more than likely that ESR's iPad Air cases will fit the new device, but it isn't certain. As always, peak sales for an Apple device come at its launch, and that's also the peak sales time for any accessories.

Consequently, there are case manufacturers who work from rumors and leaks, before gambling on getting the details right. Firms don't have to be first to release an accessory, but if they're not quick, there is little point doing it at all.

The risk is that manufacturers taking this chance can be wrong and their cases don't fit the device. Yet the reward is enough that no-name brands will always try it.

ESR is well-established so again it's probable that it is working from Apple-provided information. Even so, it's still unlikely that any user will buy any case for a device before they buy the actual device.

So what ESR is doing is getting out ahead of the pack and attempting to get its cases known. This time, as first spotted by 9to5mac, it is also working to provide not one, but a range of cases for the unannounced 12.9-inch iPad Air.

A lineup of five colorful iPad cases with varying screen angles on a dark reflective surface.
ESR's 12.9-inch iPad Air cases in various configurations (Source: ESR)

Under the strapline "Transform and Do It All," ESR is promoting three different cases. The Shift Magnetic Case (starting at $55) can mount the iPad Air high up off the desk.

Then a Rebound Magnetic Case (from $27) has a cover and snaps magnetically to a stand. Lastly, a Rebound Hybrid Case 360 (from $39) has a shock-resistant clear back, and lets the iPad Air be mounted in landscape or portrait.

At present, none are available from ESR's store on Amazon. All of them can be ordered directly from the manufacturer.

ESR's promotion includes renders of the 12.9-inch iPad Air. If correct, they confirm the single-camera that's been expected, but there's no other significant detail.

The iPad Air has never before been offered in a 12.9-inch model, it has always been solely a 10.9-inch one while the larger size has been exclusively for the iPad Pro range. Since the iPad Air has always been lower cost than the iPad Pro, it's reasonable to expect that this will cut the entry price to a larger-screen iPad -- but the saving may not be as great as hoped.

Read on AppleInsider


  • Reply 1 of 2
    I see ESR, I think Eric S. Raymond.  And I'm immediately confused, because there's no way he'd make cases for Apple stuff.
  • Reply 2 of 2
    jeromecjeromec Posts: 193member
    I don't know if that's an Amazon or ESR mistake, but I guess Apple won't be too happy about it.
    I wouldn't be surprised if these new iPads were announced today.
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