If last week's mystery-laden posting and pull-down of iPhone 5 cases from accessory maker Case-Mate (which some are now claiming was a publicity stunt) wasn't enough to whet your appetite for details about what Apple's next iPhone will look like, this week brings more.
Razorianfly points to a peculiar product listing on DealExtreme for a $3.70 case for the "iPhone 5G," a product that does not currently exist. This isn't the first time a case for an unannounced, unreleased Apple product iteration has reared its head. But in this case the product description says the accessory maker has been given the inside scoop on the device to be able to make a case for it.
"Did you know that iPhone 5 will be released anytime and DX has an inside source allowing for the sales of the cases before you can even buy the phone?" the description reads. "Inside sources have provided you with the early release of iPhone 5 cases allowing you to be protected before your phone even arrives. This is a truly great offer that no-one else can provide."
The retailer is also offering protective plastic and silicon cases for the iPhone "5" and "5G" in various colors, minus the description of how they came to be.
Here's a close-up:
Near the end of July, both MIC Gadget and 9to5mac posted images of purported silicon cases for the iPhone 5. Those, like the ones posted recently at DealExtreme, share what is believed to be the new placement for the phone's hold switch over to the same side as where the iPhone 4's camera currently sits, as opposed to just above the volume buttons. The case is also designed to fit a phone with a rounded back, matching up well with the ones that were briefly posted by Case-Mate last week.
Apple's relationship with accessory makers is of special interest given that it both competes with and supports them. Apple sells cases in its retail and online stores, yet makes its own products that have become increasingly competitive with third-party accessory makers. Both models of the iPad have been accompanied with first-party cases, with Apple building magnets into its second-generation model to work with its Smart Cover accessory. Likewise, Apple shifted to offering its own protection for the iPhone 4 with its bumper accessory, which was briefly given out free of charge last yearfollowing the company's antenna press conference. The company is expected to continue the trend with the next-generation device.