Somewhere in the maze of mobile peripheral vendors at the IFA tech conference, Yishay Hornik of accessory maker Skech showed me the company's new iPhone 5 case — almost two weeks before the expected announcement, on September 12, that there is an iPhone 5.
A bit taller, with an opening for the new iPhone connector, the case lines up exactly with the dimensions and layout of the smartphone — Hornik hopes, based on what sources tell him. "It's all a gamble," he said. However Hornik didn't sound worried about getting the details wrong, but rather confident that Skech would be selling cases on Sept. 21, when the iPhone 5 almost certainly goes on sale.
Hornik is not alone. "We have our sources," said a representative of peripheral maker Macally (not everyone provided a name). He said that the company goes beyond reading rumor sites and has people on the ground.
"The leaks that are out there I think are spot on," said a representative of accessory maker Zagg. The company plans to be ready by the end of September. But Zagg is waiting on devices that plug into the iPhone 5, since the engineers are not positive what the iPhone's rumored new connector will look like.
These small vendors' confidence contrasts with what TechNewsDaily heard in June from manufacturers such as Speck, which claimed that, while they were working out iPhone designs, they wouldn't start manufacturing until they bought the phone and had it in hand.
"There have been companies that have gotten burned," said Michael Leonhard of Moshi, noting that being off by even a millimeter on the overall dimensions or the placement of a button would mean trashing thousands of brand-new cases. "Typically Moshi never does that," he said. But this year will be different; the company will ship out screen protectors and possibly some other products to be available the same day as the iPhone 5.
As with the political conventions in the US, it seems that Apple's upcoming big announcement will just confirm that the candidate is exactly what was expected.