This morning, I received my first iPhone 6 case solicitation. It was from a Chinese company seeking a distribution partner, and contained quite a few images of various case styles on what appears to be an iPhone 6…or at least a dummy of what they hope the iPhone 6 will be. You’ll note there’s no logo in the photos below, and one doesn’t even have a screen.
You may be wondering how case developers can build a case for an item that hasn’t yet been unveiled. Does Apple provide them with dummy units? No. A couple manufacturers have told me in the past that Apple sometimes gives them basic physical specifications, but that’s not always the case (no pun intended). Rather, it’s about taking chances. Or, more accurately, calculated risks.
It’s not crazy to assume that case manufactures—Chinese or otherwise—have connections in the iPhone supply chain, in which case they can take risks based on the sources they trust or stolen units they obtain. At worst, there have been enough comparable photo leaks to allow engineers to piece something together. Whether that risk is more about getting the design right or about losing customers if they sell the case despite inaccuracies would be up to the company. I’ve never owned or reviewed a Spigen case, but I will admit I’d be curious to try one of these out…that’s a pretty slick looking design.
Spigen offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee, but even more encouraging is the fact that pre-orders won’t ship until September 30th. That’s well after the expected September 9th unveiling, and even more than a week after the likely delivery. This means Spigen should be taking the proper time to make sure their early designs are, in fact, compatible with an actual iPhone 6 before they ship them out to you.
In other words, pre-ordering an iPhone 6 case even before the iPhone 6 is unveiled surprisingly isn’t a horrible idea. However, it may be a hasty one. If the release pattern repeats itself, we will start getting embargoed case announcements the weekend before the Apple event. Obviously, case manufacturers want to be the first to get their models in front of you, but the ones that don’t want to lose favor with Apple will hold on releasing them until Apple says it’s okay—usually the moment the phone is unveiled. At that time, we’ll post an all-encompassing roundup of your early case options from companies we know we can trust—Hard Candy, Musubo, X-Doria, Marware, Otterbox, Moshi, etc.—including price and availability for each. Some may drop at around the same time as the iPhone 6, while others could follow by as much as a couple of months. The question you’ll need to answer is which ones are worth waiting for, and whether you should get the first off the line just to make sure your iPhone 6 is safe.
In answer to our initial question, then, it’s not a ridiculous notion to get your iPhone 6 case pre-order in now, but it’s best to be patient until all of your early adoption options are presented. And no matter which company you go with, never order a case that promises to ship before the iPhone 6 does.