When the iPad is released on April 3, that wonderful cottage industry known as the accessories market will swing into high gear and try to capitalize on the popularity of Apple's hot new device. But unless you're Stephen Colbert at the Grammys or a few other select people, you're probably not getting anywhere near a working iPad until it starts shipping. So, how do accessory manufacturers manage to have their wares ready to go on launch day?
Well, they make their own iPads.
At least that's what Hard Candy Cases, which is known for its laptop and iPhone cases, did. Designers at the company actually carved an iPad out of plastic that's true to the device's dimensions and is anatomically correct (the ports are where they're supposed to be). Then they were able to build cases to fit it.
Hard Candy sent us one iPad "prototype" along with a few of its upcoming cases, which range in price from $39.99 to $49.99 and go by names like Sleek Skin, Street Skin, Hard Shell, and Bubble Sleeve. We look forward to trying some real cases on real iPads, but for now we'll have to make do with a hollow, fake iPad, as empty as that may be.