updated 05:40 pm EDT, Thu September 29, 2011
Case-Mate puts iPhone 5 models into ATT system
Case-Mate's early iPhone 5 cases have surfaced again, this time in a leak from AT&T's inventory system. A screen snapshot showed BGR three adaptations of existing cases, the Barely There, Pop! Case, and Tough Case, all listed for the "iPhone 5." The trio wasn't in stock and didn't have a ship date.
Why the cases would show in the system ahead of time isn't apparent. AT&T might not necessarily have an inside line on which cases it should carry and may just be picking up what familiar suppliers have offered. With only a limited amount of shelf space for cases, though, it would be unusual to start tracking cases in inventory that it didn't intend to sell.
The "iPhone 5" name doesn't necessarily correlate to whether or not it's a new design or a safer upgrade to the iPhone 4. Reputed Apple insiders have said that the more substantial design change was likely accurate and that Case-Mate may have been based on an escaped design prototype as is rumored for those from many small Chinese companies.
Case-Mate quickly took down its own listings for iPhone 5 cases shortly after they were published, though most presume this was because it feared legal action from Apple.